TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ A lawyer for the Lakewood Police Department says former officer Brian Wurts was fired for steps he took to protect a fellow officer during an embezzlement scandal.

That's not how Wurts sees it.

KIRO-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1obPyA9 ) that Wurts has filed a lawsuit in Pierce County Superior Court claiming he was fired because he's gay and because he had served as president of the police union.

The case involves the embezzlement of more than $150,000 from a fund that was set up for the families of the four police officers killed in a coffee shop by ex-convict Maurice Clemmons in 2009. Officer Skeeter Manos, the union's treasurer, was sentenced to three years for the theft.

Wurts was placed on administrative leave in early 2012, after an internal investigation into what he knew about the Manos case.