In a case litigated by attorney James Radford, the City of Lakeland, Georgia, agreed to pay $250,000 to two former Chiefs of Police who brought suit under the Georgia Whistleblower Act, O.C.G.A. § 45-1-4. The complaint was filed in the Superior Court of Lanier County, Georgia. In the complaint, the former chiefs outlined a series of events in which Lakeland Mayor Bill Darsey demanded that they arrest and prosecute various members of the Lakeland community, without probable cause, often because they had supported another candidate for mayor. Both men refused to arrest these individuals without probable cause. According to the complaint, they were fired as a result.
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The Georgia Whistleblower Act provides, in part:
No public employer shall retaliate against a public employee for objecting to, or refusing to participate in, any activity, policy, or practice of the public employer that the public employee has reasonable cause to believe is in violation of or noncompliance with a law, rule, or regulation.
The former chiefs were represented by James Radford with Trent Coggins of Valdosta, Georgia serving as local counsel.
The case is Grantham, et al. v. City of Lakeland, et al., Civil Action No. CE-11-718. Read the complaint here: 2011.03.17 Complaint FILED.
Below is video of some news coverage of the case, and a promotional video for Lakeland, featuring Mayor Darsey.