Former Canton sergeant appeals termination
by Erin Dentmon
December 20, 2012 12:03 AM | 3335 views | 4 4 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Stacy Bailey, a former sergeant with the Canton Police Department fired in November, has appealed her termination in a letter to Canton City Manager Scott Wood and Mayor Gene Hobgood.

Bailey was fired following an internal investigation into spending on a customized golf cart for the disabled son of a man with whom she allegedly had a sexual relationship.

The golf cart was purchased with money from the police department’s Explorer fund.

In her termination appeal letter, dated Dec. 17, Bailey stated that allegations of untruthfulness against her are “untrue and easily disproved.”

Bailey stated that a bank account in question only required one signature when it was created in 2006. The report from the internal investigation stated that two signatures were required when the account was opened.

“It is apparent that no one during this investigation saw fit to interview the bank employees at issue. If they had done so, they would have learned that the bank negotiated single signature checks on this account for six years,” Bailey’s letter stated.

Bailey attached bank documents from 2006 to her letter. One form shows the number of signers needed for the account typed in as “01.”

A second attached form shows the necessary numbers of signers as “02,” which appears handwritten on the form. Bailey contends that the second form showing two signatures needed was the only one provided to investigators from Marietta.

Investigators from the Marietta Police Department performed an internal investigation into the golf cart purchase for the Canton Police Department. Their investigation concluded Nov. 13.

According to investigation reports, Bailey was found to have violated Canton Police Department policies on the code of ethics, professional image, on- and off-duty conduct, violation of rules, unbecoming conduct and truthfulness.

The city’s finance department also violated policy by not performing annual audits of the Explorer account or tracking deposits and expenditures, according to the report.

Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant stated in a termination letter to Bailey that the golf cart had been purchased under false pretenses and without disclosure of her alleged relationship with Jamison.

Bailey, in her letter, stated that the allegation of untruthfulness is false. Bailey stated that the Explorers, the Explorers board and the police chief at the time, Jeff Lance, unanimously agreed to solicit funds for Jamison’s son before any solicitations took place.

“At all times, the public was told unequivocally and without exception that the funds were being solicited for a young disabled man to purchase a golf cart to assist with his mobility,” the letter states.

Bailey’s letter stated that investigators did not interview Explorers or Explorers board members who would verify the account she gave investigators. Jamison refused to speak with investigators.

Bailey also contends that she did not violate the city’s financial policy. The Explorer program has its own bank account, which Bailey told investigators she believed had been set up as a non-profit account separate from city funds.

“The funds were never budgeted by the city, the account was never audited and the funds were never accounted for in any way by the city of Canton because they were always private funds,” her appeal letter stated.

Bailey stated in her letter that she received a tax identification number from the city that she believed was obtained specifically for the Explorers account.

Bailey said the same thing to investigators during the internal investigation. The account was not set up as a separate nonprofit and used the city’s tax identification number, according to the internal investigation.

Bailey also stated that the city’s financial policy does not apply to the purchase of the golf cart.

In a letter to the Marietta Police Department, parts of which were copied in her termination appeal, Bailey wrote: “The golf cart at issue was not purchased for the City. It was purchased by the Canton Explorer Post 221 for a private individual.”

The letter continued: “The solicitation of funds and the project to purchase the golf cart for this disabled boy were approved by the Board of the Explorers, which is a private entity chartered by the Boy Scouts of America, Former Chief of Police Jeff Lance, and the Explorers themselves. The funds raised were private funds and no public funds were used to purchase the golf cart.”

The Explorer post is a separate entity from the Canton Police Department, Bailey stated.

Bailey contends in her letter that Merchant “has selectively chosen the facts that he will believe,” as he failed to acknowledge in his termination letter that Bailey did not have a relationship with Jamison’s son and that Bailey refused to let Explorers make donations for her own disabled daughter.

Bailey stated that her personnel file with the city is “virtually devoid of discipline.” She alleges her firing violates the city’s principle of progressive discipline.

“Further, the inclusion of false allegations that are easily disproved raises serious concerns about the fairness of this investigation and the disciplinary action taken against me,” the letter states.

In addition to asking for her employment to be reinstated, Bailey ended the letter asking the city to correct the allegations that she lied to Marietta investigators, remove allegations and findings that she solicited funds under false pretenses, correct the publication of false allegations and speak with individuals referenced in her letter who can verify her statements.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation completed a criminal investigation in October and found no grounds for criminal prosecution against Bailey.

Bailey had been on paid leave from the department since July 18. She has filed a lawsuit against the city seeking overtime pay and other compensation owed.
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December 22, 2012
Those of you commenting on here are unbelievable. The citizens can not make up there mind. One day you will be trashing an officer if he gets caught speeding, DUI, lying etc....Next day you are supporting two officers that had an affair, one of which was married. Then you don't see anything wrong with Bailey buying a golf cart for the son of the person she is having an affair with? You cant tell me there was no other child in the community deserving of some help. Jameson should have known better, he has been a cop for a long time. Every officer, especially male officers have been told that alcohol and relationships (women) will get you fired quicker than anything. He knew the risks and has to pay the price.

Chief Merchant has walked into a good old boys system, and is trying to bring integrity and professionalism to the agency. When new Chief comes into a department, changes must be made and people that don't want to right the ship need to go. We need to get out of the mentality that everyone is owed a job in public service. If you are in the private sector and make these kind of mistakes or fight the management then you are terminated. Let Chief Merchant right the ship and stop supporting the people trying to keep it status quo.
Old Joe
December 20, 2012
I would like to know how much Canton's legal fees have increased since Scott Wood was hired as City Manager? It seems there is a new lawsuit every week. It is clear that this city is not being managed effectively, and of course, the dysfunctional City Council does not help matters. Maybe we need to INVESTIGATE this scenario?
Truth Prevails
December 20, 2012
I am on the Explorer board and I have to say I totally disagree with MPD quote "The Marietta investigation says that Bailey neglected to inform her superiors or the board that the child she wished to honor was the son of the man she was having an affair with, and had they known that to be the case they would have vetoed the purchase."

The bottom line is the Board & explorers all voted to dis ban shop with a cop due to families coming out of the wood work who really didn't need help. Instead we all voted to help a child in need. Regardless who the child was or the fact that Bailey was seeing the child we helped dad, we still would have helped this child, as this was & still is a child who clearly needs help. Her personal & private life should have NEVER been brought out into the media & public like it has, with that, if you are going to expose her personal & private life, i would like to see every officer, mayor, chief, city council's personal & private life exposed for all to see. We all have those skeleton's in our closet, the ONLY perfect person I know of is God.

We never asked if the child we wanted to help knew Bailey of if Bailey was seeing his Dad, as that was NOT important, what was & is important is helping a child in need, which Marietta PD you lost focus on what is important here. You all NEVER called any of us or asked us anything. GBI did their work, they called us & asked us! Why didn't MPD????? Fishy!
Lynn Smith
December 21, 2012
Chief Merchant did what Chief Merchant thought would help and support his own career at the cost of two good officer's jobs, Bailey and Jamison. Both Bailey and Jamison made terrible decisions for themselves and their families, none of which was prudent in this case....and MANY have suffered as a result!!!

I know. I too have information that no one wanted to know that would have revealed much about the truth.

Jamison tried to do the right thing and Chief Merchant acted like a friend...and then hung both Jamison and Bailey as well as their families in the press.
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