Former employee sues Cook County Sheriff's Office, claiming he was the victim of age discrimination

A retired Chicago police officer who later worked at the Cook County Sheriff's Office claims he was fired by that department because of his age.

Ronald Gaines, 69, said that he was told by his supervisor, Carmen Ruffin, that he was "too old" and "why didn't he just retire." Gaines said that shortly afterwards, he was injured on the job. 

In March, Gaines said that two deputies came to visit, asking for his credentials and telling him he was terminated, effective immediately.

"It was a slap in the face. When you're told after giving years of service, that you will be without medical coverage for the sick wife that I had or myself in a matter of weeks, without knowing the reason behind it," Gaines said. "These types of actions need to stop and be addressed."

 Gaines said that his two sons still work at Cook County Sheriff's Office.

"Being terminated from a job that I love, I take it as a personal attack against me and my integrity," Gaines said.

Gaines has nearly fifty years experience in law enforcement.

In a statement, the Cook County Sheriff's Office told FOX 32 Chicago: "Ronald Gaines was terminated because he was found to have left his work assignment for several hours without permission or notification. During the internal investigation into his actions, Gaines refused to cooperate with the investigation, ignored requests to be interviewed, and did not return to work. It was determined he had left his work assignment on other occasions as well. The Sheriff’s Office denies that the investigation into Gaines’ conduct and his subsequent termination had anything to do with his age."