Canton officer suing city, police over pay
by Rebecca Johnston
October 12, 2012 01:43 AM | 5621 views | 8 8 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Canton Police Sgt. Stacy Bailey (TribuneStaff/File)
Canton Police Sgt. Stacy Bailey (TribuneStaff/File)
CANTON — Canton Police Sgt. Stacy Bailey filed suit against the city and police department in federal court Tuesday, alleging she was not paid overtime and other compensation owed her.

Bailey, who remains on suspension with pay from the police department amid an investigation into allegations she misused funds from the Canton Police Explorers group, claims in the suit she was not properly compensated under the Fair Labor Standards Act for the overtime she worked.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations inquiry into the allegations against Bailey has concluded and found no grounds for criminal prosecution against the former police department spokesperson, Police Chief Robert Merchant told the Tribune Thursday.

The GBI report from the case is being redacted and will be released within the next few days, said GBI spokesperson John Bankhead.

Merchant said the GBI consulted with the district attorney in making the decision not to pursue criminal charges.

However, an internal investigation into the situation is continuing, Merchant said, and Bailey remains off the job until it is complete.

The investigation was requested by Merchant into the allegations Bailey used funds to purchase a golf cart for the disabled son of Capt. Scott Jamison, whom Bailey was accused of having a sexual relationship with at the time.

Jamison was employed with the Sandy Springs Police Department at the time but has since voluntarily retired.

Bailey, who has been suspended since July 18, was accused of raising $4,050 in donations for the golf cart, which cost a total of $6,242.29 and also included the purchase of a gun rack, stereo and customized wheels.

“She is still employed and suspended with pay pending the outcome of our internal investigation,” Merchant said Thursday.

The compensation lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia names the city, Merchant, City Manager Scott Wood and the Canton Police Department.

In the suit Bailey claims under police department policy she also should have received a 5 percent raise July 1 when she completed her master’s degree.

The suit asks for all unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages, back pay from July 1 reflecting the increase, court costs, interest on the pay owed and any other relief the court would grant.

City Attorney Bobby Dyer said the filing of the suit was the first the city knew of any disputed wages.

“We are still looking into her claims about overtime compensation,” Dyer said. “This is the first the city had knowledge of her claims.”

Wood referred all questions to the city attorney beyond confirming the suit was filed.

In the suit Bailey claims Wood was “advised by a supervisor of Plaintiff in the Spring of 2012 that Plaintiff was improperly being treated as an exempt employee.”

The suit goes on to claim that Wood refused to properly compensate Bailey for overtime due to her for past hours worked.

Bailey could not be reached for comment by press time.
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October 29, 2012
I hope Bailey files a discrimination suit against the city and Merchant.
Citizen of Cherokee
October 17, 2012
Chief Merchant, I saw a golf cart today at Cherokee Close outs, maybe you should purchase that golf cart for the agency, instead of taking a golf cart away from a disabled child for your agency personal use. The golf cart the Explorers & Sgt. Bailey worked hard to raise the funds for (the one your agency is driving all over) was purchased & customized with approval from the Explorers, their executive board & the honorable Chief Lance. At least Chief Lance has enough respect to never take away a purchase made WITH APPROVAL from a disabled child like you have done. I have to seriously question your morals & ability to be Chief with your out of control actions. Canton City council, instead of fighting with each other at city meetings, please do the job you all were Elected to do! Get a grip on the city of Canton, get rid of the city manager, the Chief, and maybe even yourselves! So far all the city of Canton has managed to do is hire a out of control Chief, destroy what was once a find Police Dept. , now your destroying the city. ENOUGH ALREADY!! All officers need to be put back in place in their once held positions & let's get this dept. back to the outstanding agency it once was! Instead City Council, city manager, & mayor have done is to destroy 3 offices careers & lives, and those are just the one's we all know about. Lance, Vandanzee, Bailey all need to be back at CPD IMMEDIATELY!!
Canton Resident
October 15, 2012
I am highly appalled that the City of Canton would continue to waste tax payer dollars. GBI cleared Sgt. Bailey of all criminal charges why isn’t that enough? Is the new chief that immature that he must continue to try to destroy this woman’s life? Also City council what are you all doing? It appears that City council, city manager (who expects special treatment for his illegal actions to drive as he pleases with no regard for safety of others on Canton’s roadways), the Mayor & the Chief all need to be replaced with people who are more mature to handle the city business. Already the new Chief has done nothing but waste much of tax payers’ dollars. He fired the acting chief soon as he started “hanging out” all over canton with the out of control City Manager. Wake UP people don’t you see the writing on the wall which is clear??? The out of control city manager & now the out of control Chief both need to be fired immediately!

All Sgt. Bailey is guilty of is trying to help a young child in need of help! Isn’t that part of what the Explorers are suppose to do? In the past they did “shop with a cop” which Canton’s own Lt. had his family there without prior knowledge to the Explorers or Sgt. Bailey, it was discovered when the Lt. showed up at Wal-Mart with his family quite proud that they were receiving merchandise free to them. 2 years ago a Lt. with Canton brought his family to Wal-Mart in Canton so his family could receive FREE merchandise paid for by the funds the Explorers raised. That is who should be investigated, NOT Sgt. Bailey. No one investigated that, Chief Merchant, you sir appear to have no morals or respect for the City of Canton. I think you should return to Florida & see if you prior department would be willing to take you back; I have to wonder if they even would.

Chief Lance needs to be re hired as Chief at CPD, as well as VandeZande as Asst. Chief. The department was a very well run department with them in charge. Sgt. Bailey should not be harassed as the chief has done. It appears Merchant is on a “witch hunt” to do whatever he pleases and City council is allowing it. Whoever made the decision to hire Merchant over allowing VandeZande to keep the job really messed up. In all honesty & reality Chief Lance should have never lost his job, but the city council had no back bone to stand up to an out of control Sheriff whose own department tainted the crime scene, it was CSO NOT Canton PD who messed up the investigation of the little girl who was killed that started all this big mess!! I am totally ashamed of the City of Canton; this was once a very fine city but not any more.

October 12, 2012
Why is there a need for Merchant to continue an investigation when the GBI has found no grounds for criminal prosecution. Seems like he's on a witch hunt. Let her get back to work and do what she good at doing. Maybe her hours need to be checked into for overtime and place her on a salary to cover her overtime without having to document every minute. The city will always come out ahead with this lady on the job! Who is better able to know how to motivate kids to get involved than a parent with a child with Special Abilities! Get her back on the job and quit looking for a way to scrutinize and criticize a single, working mom!
Paulette N. Haines
October 12, 2012
I wondered the same thing, the GBI is an agency held in very high regard in the State of GA. I would think that going against the finding of our States GBI could open up the City of Canton (of which I like very much) to perhaps other Federal Law Suits?????

It is not an easy road professional for women, especially if they work for local and county governments. Sometimes justice, fairness, and the welfare of those served is totally meaningless in some cases to County and City Heads if the truth be known. Bullying, jealousy and fear of the unknown can cause "hellish" acts by persons in charge. Sgt. Bailey was cleared, and using Marietta PD's time and their taxpayers resource might be better used elsewhere.

Paulette N. Lucas Haines

Marietta, GA

Jon B
October 12, 2012
Because there was no evidence to proceed with criminal action does not mean that there was no behavior that was against departmental policy and as such the department is right in pursuing the matter. In addition civil action could be taken e.g. O.J was found not guilty in criminal court but the case was taken to civil court (and won there.
Bill B
October 12, 2012
Jon B.....Your point is well taken. I wonder if you are familiar with the term: Gender Based Disparate Treatment? Likely not but look it up. The city that is conducting this "Investigation" that seems to be sanctioned by Mayor and council is also the same city that put its city manager on probation for unprofessional conduct and didn't even address the issue of the city manager requesting unlawful background checks on citizens who speak out against him. As a matter of fact, despite previously being admonished by the council for unprofessional conduct in the past (Ms. Cain) the council merely gave him two pats on the hand instead of one. Really? Does anyone really believe the present actions against this sergeant were politically motivated? The whole incident smells fishy but that shouldn't surprise is Canton
Fed Up
October 15, 2012
I totally agree - the GBI has cleared her, so why are more dollars being spent on additional "investigations?" Is this just so that Merchant can try to find something to save face? And as for the golf cart - a lot of people donated money to buy the golf cart for a disabled child...yet I saw Merchant & the PD driving around River Fest on it like it was their personal toy. If the PD wants to keep it, then they should reimburse those who donated the money to purchase it - lord knows I pay enough in taxes to not have to supplement the PD's playthings.

Guess I know where our tax dollars go.
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