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Former Police PIO in Jacksonville Talks

JACKSONVILLE, Ark.-- Two more lawsuits have been filed against the city of Jacksonville as the city attorney and acting police director continue to face backlash

The former public information officer for the Jacksonville Police Department explained to us how a fight to get her job back is also a fight for women's rights in the workplace. 

"That's one thing I'm willing to fight for is for that community to survive and know what's going on," April Kiser said. 

We spoke exclusively to Kiser, who filed one of those two lawsuits on Friday. 

According to the lawsuit, the city of Jacksonville's employed Kiser for nearly 19 years. 

Kiser said, "I want my job back. I want my pay back. And I want the discrimination to stop. It's got to stop."

She sat down in front of the camera two days after filing a lawsuit against her employer. 

"There's a lot. I don't think we have enough time to go through everything that I've been put through the last year," she said. 

You may recognize her as the police public information officer- a job the lawsuit shows she's held for 15 years. That was until last month when the city attorney removed her from that position, according to the lawsuit. 

"I feel like it was to try to get me to quit. Try to, try to get me to go," Kiser said. 

But she said she is not going anywhere. 

"Double mastectomy before having to go through radiation before having to go through chemo? I think I deserve that," she told us. 

The 40-year-old wife and mother told me back in 2016 she was diagnosed with mutant genes linked to breast cancer- called BRCA 2. 

She said, "It's not if I get cancer. It's when I get cancer. There's no running from it."

Kiser said it took multiple appeals to the Board of Municipal Health Benefit Fund- which provides her benefits- to get approved for a double mastectomy. 

They did not approve, however, breast reconstruction and counseling as doctors recommend according to the lawsuit. 

The board includes Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher who Kiser said belittled her during a hearing. 

"I will say that I do not wish that on anyone for any reason to have to sit in front of a board and say why you do not deserve cancer," she told us. 

After filing a complaint of discrimination with the United States Equal Opportunity Commission, she learned in March she could sue. 

"Literally two days later I was removed from my job and then two weeks later after the council had ran and tried to put me back in my position as the PIO, I had money deducted from my pay," Kiser said. 

Now she's engaging in a legal fight while a medical battle may still lie ahead. 

"I'm not quitting. I'm still employed at the City of Jacksonville and I will continue. I'm not quitting," she said. 

Before Sunday's interview, we reached out to both Jacksonville's mayor and city attorney and did not hear back from either one of them by the newscast. 


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