HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – A former high school football coach fired amid allegations that he was abusive toward players has filed a defamation lawsuit.

The suit filed by former Bulkeley High School coach Pablo Ortiz against Hartford’s superintendent of schools seeks damages and reinstatement as football coach.

The 53-year-old Ortiz’s lawyer tells the Hartford Courant that his firing earlier this year has “tainted his whole reputation” and made it difficult to find new coaching opportunities.

Ortiz kept his job as a social worker for the state Department of Children and Families after the agency could not substantiate allegations that Ortiz was verbally abusive and once slammed a student to the ground while breaking up a fight.

A city schools spokesman said the superintendent had no comment on the suit.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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