Tom Martino claims that KDVR in Denver fired him in 2011 after he filed for bankruptcy.
He is now suing the station in federal court.
The Denver Post reports that Martino claims in the lawsuit that the station dropped him and his new Martino TV segment when it learned he was filing for bankruptcy, a move the self-proclaimed troubleshooter said violated federal law protections against such conduct.
The station, in response to the claim, said it simply did not renew its contract with Martino, saying his personality was “too strong” for the direction it wanted to go and it wanted a host with “less personality.” That Martino filed for bankruptcy had nothing to do with it, according to the case filed in U.S. District Court in Denver.
Individuals who filed for bankruptcy protection are protected by federal law from employers who toss them as a result. KDVR and its owner, Community Television of Colorado, say the law only applies to firings that come after bankruptcy has been filed and cited case law to support that defense.
Martino’s lawyer — the same one who helped him with the Chapter 7 case from which he was discharged last year — said although the station told Martino of its intent to not renew his contract shortly after he announced his bankruptcy intent in a website blog posting, the contract actually ended several days after he filed Chapter 7 in September 2011.
Martino’s lately made news with his arrest on a domestic-violence charge Dec. 20 involving his 45-year-old troubleshooting-partner wife, Holly Martino. Martino allegedly punched her in the face, leaving her with a bloody nose as there were in the car. He faces a Denver County Court hearing on March 5 on the misdemeanor charge, including another for disturbing the peace, court records show.
Looks like Martino will be spending much of 2014 in a courtroom.