Veteran sues veterans charity in Tenn. over firing

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A veterans charity has been sued in Tennessee by a former employee who said he was fired because he refused to solicit donations after being told not to by police.

Tonzil Jones, a former Marine, said he was hired to collect money outside stores and on streets for The Veterans Support Organization. But when he was told in 2010 by a Murfreesboro police officer that he couldn't stand in the street and ask for donations, he said his manager fired him.

The organization, which is incorporated in Rhode Island, has been fined in Tennessee previously for false claims about services provided to veterans in the state.

The charity claims Jones quit and charity founder Richard Van Houten says the veterans learn job skills while raising money for the charity.

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