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Former officer’s lawsuit against the city of Columbia could head to trial

UPDATE: Despite Boone County Court being listed as the location for the hearing, it was held in Saline County on Tuesday.

ORIGINAL STORY: A lawsuit filed by a former Columbia police officer could soon head to trial.

Ex-police officer Rob Sanders is expected to appear in Boone County Court Tuesday morning for a motion hearing for his wrongful termination lawsuit against the city.

In 2011, Sanders was accused of shoving inmate Kenneth Baker in a holding cell. He was fired and charged with assault before being acquitted in October 2013.

Baker sued the city in 2011 and was awarded $250,000 for the ordeal.

Following the incident, Sanders filed a lawsuit, seeking to rejoin the department.

In February 2016, an appeals court overturned Cole County Judge Pat Joyce’s order to reinstate him. The three-judge panel ruled on procedural grounds, saying the Cole County Circuit Court did not have statutory authority to consider review of the Sanders case as a contested one.

Now, nearly two years later, the lawsuit is back in Boone County Court.

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