Fired Police Chief Samuel L. Buntyn has filed a $6.5-million lawsuit against the city, alleging that the leak to the press of his letter of termination last August invaded his privacy, held him up to public ridicule and damaged his reputation.
The letter from City Manager John Bernardi to Buntyn, who was fired in the fall, charged Buntyn with sexual harassment of a female subordinate, attempting to influence a police review board and insubordination. Copies of the letter were obtained by The Times and the Pasadena Star-News and became the basis of news stories.
Buntyn's suit also names Bernardi and the City Council members at that time, David Margrave, Lee Prentiss, Sam Knowles, Ted Shaw and Robert Wagner.
Buntyn's attorney, Gregory Wedner, said he believes that a city official leaked the letter to the press, but Wedner declined to name the official.