Bethlehem Police Officer Sues over being forced to join Alcoholics Anonymous. I Love this GUY!

A Bethlehem police officer who was dismissed following a DUI charge, then ordered to be reinstated, is now suing the city after its expert ruled he is an alcoholic and is unfit to return to the police department.

Richard Hoffman is neither an alcoholic, nor a recovering alcoholic, and has never received a medical diagnosis as such, according to his lawsuit filed in Northampton County Court last month.

Bethlehem, however, is using a forensic psychologist’s opinion to brand him as an alcoholic who cannot perform his duties as a police officer, the suit says.

Hoffman “was, in essence, terminated twice without just cause,” according to the lawsuit.

Since the city regards Hoffman as a recovering alcoholic, which he denies, the city should consider him as a person with a disability covered under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act, the suit says.

Under the statute, Hoffman should have been allowed to complete the recommended treatment before being determined unfit to return to the police department, the lawsuit says.

Hoffman’s attorney, Donald Russo, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

Attorney Susan McDonough is representing Bethlehem in the matter, and filed a notice Wednesday to have the suit moved to federal court. McDonough declined to comment about the suit.

Hoffman was charged with drunken driving after crashing into a parked vehicle and damaging two others in August 2013 in the city. His blood-alcohol content was 0.16, according to authorities.

Hoffman was accepted into a first-time offender’s program and the DUI was erased from his criminal record.

Bethlehem City Council voted unanimously in March 2014 to fire Hoffman, but an arbitrator ruled last year that the city only had cause to discipline him, not fire him.

According to Hoffman’s suit, the arbitrator ruled the city could only discipline him with a 25-day suspension. Hoffman was to be reinstated, but the city had the right to require Hoffman to submit, and successfully complete, a fitness-for-duty evaluation.

Hoffman claims the city never required other officers with DUI charges, who were also suspended 25 days, to receive the same evaluation.

The arbitrators ruling “reflected unlawful bias in the form of an utterly unsubstantiated belief that (Hoffman) was suffering from alcoholism,” the suit says.

As part of Hoffman’s evaluation, Dr. Frank Dattilio submitted a report last May that found Hoffman is an alcoholic who could possibly relapse, and is unfit to return to as a patrolman, according to court papers.

Dattilio made recommendations for Hoffman before he be allowed to return as a full-time police officer:

  • Six months sobriety before being allowed to return to light duty.
  • An additional six months of sobriety before being allowed to return to his patrol unit, with the recommendation of random urine tests.
  • Joining an on-going recovery program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous.
  • Dattilio’s continued evaluation of Hoffman’s complying with the recommendations.

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63 thoughts on “Bethlehem Police Officer Sues over being forced to join Alcoholics Anonymous. I Love this GUY!

  1. Won’t fly. “Such as” is merely a recommendation. If they have SMART, he could go there. Alcoholism is no longer considered a disability. Better he try bipolar or depression.

  2. Perhaps he doesn’t have to do anything, afterall he has been assessed and diagnosed by a leading psych professional. Thanks for the link which is similar to what I posted however it is in reference to civil liberty, is this the same as employment law, as it seems the case is being made based on unfair treatment by his employers?

    This seems to make a difference regarding disability in relation to ADA employment rights. For example..

    am interested to know if comparison different. I do agree that it is unlikely to go well for the guy but it is what it is and will be interesting to see what happens.

  3. Even a 5 year old would realise this has nothing to do with AA – it’s clear AA could be only one alternative, he could go to other recovery groups as someone else has pointed out. The crux of the matter is he is deemed alcoholic and he disagrees.


      • A mistake full stop. AA thrives on this very concept to determine it’s success.

        The literature describes so many times how others are “spiritually sick” “seem to have been born these ways” or the stories of apparent individuals going off the wagon as examples to be heeded because? failed to enlarge on spiritual principles, all fit precisely the very definition of the term.

        Seems that it is very “spiritual” to thrive off of others misfortune in order to stay sober.

        The very definition of scahenfroode (oops never mind).

        So really?

        As usual after careful consideration once again

          • Also I would like to respectfully ask that you desist from posting too, only it seems that you are not here for any other purpose than to post obtuse and errant comments towards myself and the blog owner whom I might add is recovering from a major health issue, which should be considered and respected. Thank you.

            • Well I asked you nicely but you couldn’t be adult about it and demonstrate a modicum of restraint. You really need to be less sensitive if you are going to read posts and they make your stomach dramatically turn, simply don’t read them. Why get yourself all wound up it really is pointless and only you suffer no one else.

                • You seem to be all over the shop. one minute your stomach is turning next hysterically laughing. Then saying I’m somehow I am contained or perverting the course of justice. really now I should be laughing at you too but I have to lead by example and be the responsible adult in this discourse once again. You are capable of behaving like an adult?

              • Great. If you actually look up corriedale you will find it is in fact a breed of sheep. I kid you not. There is too much comedy gold there but lets not be seen to pull the wool over peoples eyes and more importantly not rise to the baaa-my posts. Must be a higher power of some sorts.

    • Not necessarily true, Corriedale. The community in which I live, like so many others, offer only one recovery group and that is AA. It’s a crying shame there are not more alternatives in most communities to help with problem drinking. Furthermore, for those of us who don’t buy the whole Alcoholism Disease Theory, such a program is a complete waste of time. Just because some quack declared his theory to be truth back in the dark ages of the formation of AA, doesn’t make it truth. Massive can counsel this individual toward another recovery group all day, but what is your answer if there is not another option within a 50 mile radius? Furthermore, he may disagree for good reason as to rather he is an alcoholic. Do you believe that every time an individual drinks too much and makes a mistake they are an alcoholic? In this individuals case, he probably has a problem with drinking given he is a police officer and should know the scope of his decision making. However, he could be like myself and many others and not agree that alcoholism is a disease. I know I went through a period in which I drank too much as a form of escapism from my problems and after a period of drinking too much too often I became addicted. I quit for a period of months and drink again today in moderation, knowing full well that if I return to my previous behavior, I will once again become addicted. However, AA tells me if I ever drink so much as a sip again it’s “Jails, Institutions, and Death” that await me and that AA is also the only solution. I know that does not have to be the case. I also know firsthand having attended AA meetings exactly what the program is all about and as far as I’m concerned it is nothing more than a fear mongering cult based on lies. That is not the answer to problem drinking and it was certainly not the answer I needed when I reached out for help. What you consider an obsession is off base as those who frequent this site usually do so because of the harm that was done to us by a program that was to help and did quit the opposite. I recognize alcohol abuse as a real problem, not a disease, and one that deserves real answers. Those who are truly obsessed are those who visit websites from whom viewpoints they totally disagree and make ugly remarks because they are so devoted to a program that for many of us has all the signs of brainwashing.

      • AA doesn’t say what you are saying Jaswim, people interpret the literature how they want and your post is a prime example. Read the literature again and you will understand better.
        Even so, how is it AA’s fault that it is the only game in town? Some of the alternatives have been around for about 20 years but failed to make an impact. It’s your government’s directives that are in question here. Massive is totally incorrect and misleading in her title call.
        What is being said on this blog falls down under scrutiny. It turns it all into a farce and that is why the film flopped and you are making no headway.
        If massive wants to make an impact or whatever she needs to stick to the truth and common sense.

        • Common sense would say if he can go for six months without drinking before returning to duty and go another six months without drinking after returning to duty while being subjected to random urine tests, then no mandated participation in “recovery” groups or spiritualism cults like AA should be needed.

        • HI Darrow-

          The alternatives have been around . But none of them told their members they needed to be “of service ” like little slaves and monkeys to stay “sober ” AA style. So members move on.

          AA has area committees < DCM's GSR, Delegates and monthly shitty little meetings discussing how to recruit new members from prison and rehabs. AA had Marty Mann who used her status and her gay lover who was big in Publishing in NY in the 1940's to push AA for free. It was a top down millionaire brigade that included one of the richest men in America. Rockefeller. Who believed that alcohol was EVIL and loved the idea of pushing abstinence on our whole society after Prohibition failed and drinking returned in 1933. GO read the history books and get the fuck off my site...before the door hits you on the ass on the way out.

        • Yes it does say the things Jaswim has posted. Anyone can look up those words and get linked directly to clear verifiable sources ref bb. The mainstream approaches based on the current evidence are doing just fine and are gaining new members you could approach SMART or any of the other mainstream approaches and ask them how they are doing n regards to impact. Listen if you dare with cotton wool free ears to this blogs radio talks. Change is happening and its good mainstream based approaches are taking time to build. Rather than some bloke who found god in a quack new york hospital, whichI might add was sham.Whenever i read posts like yours I am always fascinated by this fixation with massive. Surely living a joyous happy and free life of recovery should be free of resentment. Nonetheless a bit of anger displacement is healthy.Still if you havent left then you arent to know what it is like once left. Rest assured it definitely isnt jails institutions or death. It is actually quite freeing. Still keep going back it works if you work it etc etc have a good day.

          • outofthewoods – I am always fascinated by this fixation with massive. Surely living a joyous happy and free life of recovery should be free of resentment.

            I know. Who cares what I think. We care what each of us feels and thinks as ex steppers.

            Strange people. These AA folks who come here to troll.

        • I would call myself anonymous as well if I were you as it is obvious you are one of the brainwashed. Trust me I read the literature, including the Big Book of Lies, and that is precisely what led me out the door. I interpret very well, thank you, and it does not match up with what I consider to be the book of truth, which I consider the Bible. I was a Christian long before I attended my first AA meeting and to me AA is nothing more than a false religion. I am not powerless and I do have strength through God who has helped me through addiction. I cannot make up my own version of a higher power as the Big Book suggests as that is considered idolatry. Let me share with you the final straw that led me out the door. I read this straight out of the Big Book as I was going through the steps. My Sponsor had me read the Big Book to her and ask questions as we worked through the steps. Boy did I have questions for my Sponsor, who by the way was also a Christian. Go to page 46-47 of the Big Book and read the following excerpt, “We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him. To us, the Realm of the Spirit is broad, roomy, all inclusive; never exclusive or forbidding to those who earnestly seek. It is open, we believe, to all men. When, therefore, we speak to you of God, we mean your own conception of God.” Now compare that to the New International Version of the Bible and read Matthew 7:13-“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. You can also go to pg. 55 of the Big Book and also read the following, ““If our testimony helps sweep away prejudice, enables you to think honestly, encourages you to search diligently within yourself, then, if you wish, you can join us on the Broad Highway. With this attitude you cannot fail. The consciousness of your belief is sure to come to you.” Boy did that all that open a can of worms and a load of questions that by the way my sponsor could not answer and her only answer to me was, “Don’t worry about all that, we know the truth, now let’s move along.” I moved along alright. I left her apartment, went home and started my Google searches. I spent two weeks reading everything I could about the formation of AA, Bill Wilson and the rest of the liars, those he received his ideals and basic beliefs from, people like Marty Mann (who had a great deal of influence in the Theory of Alcoholism being accepted) , and where in the world the Theory of Alcoholism as a Disease came from. I found out so much more than I originally sought and in the end I realized I had unknowingly joined a cult, one I might add whose founder was able to financially benefit and every 12-Step “Ripoff” Rehab continues to do so today. No, this was not the help I was seeking. I entered one of those rehabs and was both mentally and financially hurt by what I received there. May I suggest you get your nose out of that book. It would be great if you opened the Bible, but if not at least do some further research as I did as what you will find is truly disturbing. You also apparently don’t have a clue to what you are talking about anyways as that film is wonderful, has won awards, and even if didn’t speak to you, it sure spoke to me and many others. Maybe if you ever become a victim of the program, you will have a better understanding.

  4. I know LOTS of officers who have have got sober through their EAP and they didn’t not loose their jobs or get suspended because they were an alcoholic.

    This fellow could use examples right across the country to proved that police forces don’t suspend anyone for 6 months. If my understanding of the law is correct – judges are obligated to reflect what the values and beliefs of the population of the county.

    What they do in Canada is they take away the officers gun and put them on desk duty until they feel that person isn’t a problem any more. If they are really p*ssed off at them – then they are sent to the motor pool to pump gas or wash the police cars.

    That usually straighten’s ’em up pretty fast.

    There is also a division in one city where all these cops that have problems are sent to – it is called the ‘Island of Lost Toys’. None of them have a gun and it is all paperwork.

    But I would like everyone to take a moment to think about how the officer could sue AA itself over this – because AA is presenting a solution for alcoholism to the world (and judges) yet we know it is i has a low 5% success rate.

    Ultimately this has happened because AA has convinced the judge that it has ‘the solution’. The judge believes them and is imposing what he believes to be an appropriate treatment.


  5. I wish him luck, but he’s pushing his luck by challenging the DUI gods. The whole corrupt system is predicated on exploiting DUI offenders so everyone else can get rich. About one hundred percent of my teenage friends drank and drove, so they were all alcoholics? Good grief!

  6. I went to an Event the other day that was held at a prestigious LA LAW school.
    I went to meet Judges so that we could ask them to stop court ordering to AA and please watch the film and begin a dialogue. There were 400 lawyers and Judges there in one spot. Usually getting access to Judges is pretty hard to do.

    I wound up sitting next to one. He was very nice and open to my discussion.

    I also met a Professor who was smart and kind and very open to other paths to getting help.

    I met a Supervising Judges.
    He supervises some 250 Judges in Downtown LA.

    It was clear to me that the old guard is still in place. Who knows how many of these Judges are AA members in special halls. I have no idea if he is, but they are all doing it. 99% of them.

    Good thing is that the other two men were super open to talk and one agreed that AA was a huge failure and that after 10 years he stopped sending people to AA meetings.

    FYI- The Lawsuit against local AA is still happening. The Frys – ( the sponsors ) have been dropped.

    I think the way to go is through LAW students, Medical Students and Young Journalists.

  7. Many people who also saw the film decided to give it a few awards. Even AA members found it’s content to have credibility lets not forget that.

    So though you may think you are the sentinel of all things truthful in defense of AA acting the hero aren’t we dear DD. Opacity sadly is not your strong point. Do you enjoy this type of harassment or is it second nature to you?

  8. Its been a good weekend, not only have we actively learnt the definition of schadenfreude buy actual real time examples and the correct spelling but also what cyberstalking looks like and whether it is possible to cross reference any number of posts by massives’ fan club to elucidate it once again in real time. See below. You learn something new every day. Fantastic.

    Have a great day and don’t the bastards grind you down Massive.

  9. You do realise ‘not stopping this’ continues to prove precisely what you are trying contain don’t you? I showed a friend this nonsense you keep posting and the reaction was that they thought all this trolling was “fucked up” to use a direct quote. point being the longer you wish to persist the stranger and more “fucked up” you present yourself. i mean lets look at at it for what it is.

    1) Blog site gets created as people find out AA is as they suspected all along.

    2) stinknin Thinkin shut down due to a silly troll campaign by people because they were not grown up enough to live and let live and felt the need to control. Which is a bit culty and fair gamey.

    3) Decide that it can be done all over again using silly baseless smear, harrassment and besmirching on many web chat rooms blogs in an attempt to control and bash and all manner of dirty tricks (in their head that is)

    Except people are wise to this, and underneath it all is a silly pathetic highschool attitude to the whole thing trying to control the blog owner or sling silly potshots at posters. Like we really care lol. What makes it even more funnier is that the perps in this case DD etc think and remember only think that somehow this is effective when all it does is prove that when it comes to leaving AA….welI let’s the evidence speak for itself. Never ceases to amaze me, and yep folk these are in the meetings 24/7 365 just waiting to help (control) you on the happy road to destiny. Thanks DD thanks Ophelia, thanks Corriedale, Thanks Deirdrie you guys arew so differnt from one another its untrue. Thank you for proving as ever what a funny if a little unhinged sphere of existance you guys inhabit. Have a great y’all and try not to get too worked up, maybe take a few deep breaths before posting more silly nonsense

    • Time to stop telling others what to do more like. Why oh why do we have to put up with insufferable rubbish is any ones guess. What are you thinking we are going to do with this info/ suddenly go back to AA head in hands or jump off a tall building or simply just cry ourselves to sleep?. No. The reason being is because though we care about the Bradas, we have not one iota of concern for these ramblings which are just silly potshots designed to attempt to discredit the blog owner at any available opportunity. What a waste of your time, yet again.

        • Can you explain how and exactly has exploited the Bradas and what your source of information is firstly.?Secondly perhaps take some time away from looking up the court stuff you are only creating an illusion of great importance. What you fail to notice is people have moved on unlike a certain others but cant think of her name. Suffice at any given opportunity the conversation will invariably switch back to massive this and case that and on and on and on. It is really just nit picking for guys that think as stated all this makes one bit of difference to massive the bradas the judges the cats and dogs. Do you understand? Compremde muchos ?

          • It must make something of a difference or she wouldn’t have brought the subject up. Also, ( snip ) STOP TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO )

            You have been provided the answer to the questions you post, (snip) , no other information can be used for self study. You would prefer to accept the narrative of one instead of taking any personal initiative. Snip —NO NAME CALLING ! I have no idea what you even mean with your sentence about self importance. That isn’t the objective – correct factual information is.

            Delores – YOU ARE BLACKLISTED HERE.

            • It is clearly far far more important to the trolls it was just a comment and look how you all jump up and down massive this and massive that and blah blah.I knew this would come up, too predictable and that is why i am not bothered by a few spelling mistakes who cares a bout of bit of spelling here and there it’s only a blog try not to be so anally retentive please.

              mmmmn yes that’s right I’m brainwashed now well “guess my brain needed a good washing” isn’t that what they say honestly where do you people get this stuff from aah yes I remember now.
              The answer is a court report that’s it. I tend to look at the bigger picture as well so nothing has changed and that is it. So I move on, why you can’t seem to do the same is a mystery that only a good self study will answer. Here’s a clue rule 62 yeah. Try it sometime.

      • As long as the strategy against AA is the same as in the Brada case, AA will continue to win. It will be harder to get someone to take a case against AAWS,especially when it is expected the attorney do it for free. You don’t have to read it, out. AA wins just the same.

        • AA has been sued before. And it was sealed.

          AL ANON was sued over and over again so now they have policies … they the victim won.

          More Lawsuits will happen. NA has had many LAWSUITS and paid rather then go to trial or have it go public.

          The Lawsuits will be about being sexually harassed while volunteering in AA. It will include women who were raped, children who were molested . now adults….It will be like the Catholic Church Scandal.

          • But it isn’t anything like the Catholic Church scandal and you were told that years ago by someone whose opinion you respect. The Catholic Church dealt with actual employment. As for sealing records, there would still be case information available. AA gets named in suits all of the time but no one has actually been able to give a winning case.

            • Mary Dawn- You are really a trip.

              Who the hell are you…..Coming on my site like you know me and who I spoke to and

              NO ‘ The AA old timers said in Fact ” ITS like The Catholic Church scandal.

              Move along…

              • I am asking something significant that you cannot answer. While records and verdicts can be sealed depending on circumstances, filings cannot be. Where has anyone actually won?

                The conversation is in the archived posts at OP.

                • Mary Dawn- I have already told you …I don’t have all the answers. Nor do I care to interact with you any more.

                  Move along …go hire an Investigator with your own $$$ and find it out yourself.

                • This is much like Stalkerbelle who has a long history of referring to the OP forums in her posts. There isn’t another poster around who does that other than her.


                  • She wasn’t the only AA over there when there were tons of people posting.

                    As for getting an investigator, I don’t have to as I work in a law office with excellent case searching software. You are at best spreading rumors you cannot prove. At worst, it is lying.

  10. If the people in AA and NA consider addiction a disease, why don’t they tear down the prisons and liberate the thousands upon thousands of people suffering from a disease? Could it be because most of those in prison are black? Or is 13th Stepping teenagers just too time-consuming?

    I loathe AA.

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