Fired Kentucky Police Officer Files Lawsuit Against Country Star John Michael Montgomery

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A fired police officer who arrested John Michael Montgomery on a drunken-driving charge has sued the country music star for slander.

The Urban County Government fired Joshua Cromer in February in part for postings made on the social networking Web site and for his actions in connection with Montgomery's arrest in February 2006.

Prior to the officer's dismissal, Montgomery was interviewed by the police department's internal affairs unit.

Cromer claims Montgomery, 42, falsely accused him of stealing his cowboy hat during the arrest. His lawsuit also contends Montgomery falsely told police Cromer had targeted him because he is a celebrity, and that Cromer acted inappropriately during the arrest.

Montgomery's attorney, Brent Caldwell, did not return phone calls Monday.

Last August, Montgomery entered an Alford plea to the drunken-driving charge, which acknowledges there was enough evidence for a conviction. He was ordered to pay fines and take an alcohol-education course.

Cromer is appealing his termination.

Montgomery's hits include "I Love the Way You Love Me," "I Swear" and "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)."