Canton council votes to settle lawsuit with terminated sergeant
by Joshua Sharpe
May 03, 2013 11:10 PM | 1457 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — The Canton City Council voted unanimously Thursday to pay more than $100,000 to settle a lawsuit over unpaid wages with a former city police sergeant who was accused of misusing funds to benefit the disabled son of a man she was allegedly involved with at the time.

Former Canton Police Sgt. Stacy Bailey sued the city in October 2012, claiming she was owed back pay for overtime. She was subsequently fired in November.

She had been on paid suspension since July after allegations surfaced that she had used more than $4,000 of funds from Canton Police’s Explorers unit, a program which teaches children about law enforcement.

Under the settlement agreed on by the city council Thursday, Bailey will receive $60,000 and another $47,000 for attorney fees.

The lawsuit named the city of Canton, Police Chief Robert Merchant, City Manager Scott Wood and the Canton Police Department as being at fault in Bailey not receiving overtime pay.

City officials have contended that during her employment at the police department, Bailey was an employee

“exempt” from overtime pay.

Wood told the council Thursday that he was still didn’t feel the claims made in the suit valid and that, as City Attorney Bobby Dyer said Tuesday, the risk of losing out in court was too great to pursue a trial.

“I think I can speak for Chief Merchant and myself in saying we’re not prepared to concur that there’s been any fault on the part of the city,” he said. “This is a business decision.”

Dyer said Tuesday that the city of Canton is in the process of trying to avoid another suit with Bailey.

The city has received a document threatening another suit from Bailey against Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant, alleging that he committed libel in a letter written to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation asking them to investigate her spending, Dyer said.

Dyer said the letter about the pending suit was handed over to the city’s insurance company and could be resolved before a suit is filed.

Bailey had been with the Canton Police Department since February 2003.
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