City of Canton may settle suit against former police sergeant
by Staff reports
April 29, 2013 04:53 PM | 2222 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON—The city of Canton may soon pay out more than $100,000 in the case of a terminated Canton police sergeant who was accused of misusing department funds to benefit the son of a man with whom she allegedly had a relationship.

The Canton City Council is scheduled to vote at its meeting Thursday night on whether or not to approve the first reading of the settlement agreement to pay a total of $60,000 to former Canton police sergeant Stacy Bailey and another $47,000 to her attorney, according to the settlement agreement released by the city.

The agreement states that should the council approve, Bailey will receive $30,000 in unpaid overtime pay and $30,000 for “alleged liquidated damages.”

Bailey was fired last November after being suspended with pay from the department July 18, following allegations she raised $4,050 in donations and purchased a golf cart for the disabled son of a man with whom she’d allegedly been sexually involved.

The funds are alleged to have come from the department's Explorers unit, a program the Canton Police Department participates in to teach children about law enforcement.

Mayor Gene Hobgood said Monday that the city should’ve had a better system in place to keep track of employee working hours.

“It’s a shame,” Hobgood said. “We should’ve had controls in place and been able to avoid things like (this settlement).”

Bailey filed suit against the police department and the city in October about the overtime pay issue. She was on suspension from the department at the time.

The compensation lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on Oct. 11 names the city, Police Chief Robert Merchant, City Manager Scott Wood and the Canton Police Department.

In the suit, Bailey alleged she was not paid overtime and other compensation owed to her. The suit also claims that under police department policy she should have received a 5 percent raise July 1 when she completed her master's degree.

The suit asked 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.

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

For the city go through with the settlement, Hobgood said two readings of the agreement and a budget amendment for the funds must pass the City Council.

A criminal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation into the allegation found no grounds for criminal prosecution against the former police department spokeswoman.
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