An experienced criminal investigator fired from the Waynesboro Police Department last fall has sued the city, the police chief and the city administrator.
Timothy J. Taylor sued in U.S. District Court seeking up to $1 million in damages, reinstatement to his job, attorney fees and $1 million in punitive damages against Police Chief Karl E. Allen and City Administrator T.J. Brantley.
Mr. Taylor alleges in his lawsuit filed Friday that his constitutional rights of free speech and free association were violated when he was fired Nov. 5. According to the lawsuit, Chief Allen informed Mr. Taylor he was being terminated for his involvement with Citizens United for Human Rights and alleged complaints about police officers' conduct.
Citizens United for Human Rights is an Augusta-based organization concerned with matters of possible police misconduct and brutality. Last week, the group sponsored a community meeting concerning the Feb. 21 fatal shooting of Alfaigo Terrell Davis, 29, by two Richmond County sheriff's deputies.
Mr. Taylor was hired by Waynesboro police on Nov. 6, 1996, as an investigator. He had worked for the Augusta Police Department and the Richmond County Sheriff's Department for 13 years before leaving for Waynesboro.
Mr. Taylor appealed his firing to Mr. Brantley, who concurred with the police chief's decision. The city council ratified the termination Dec. 19/
Chief Allen said Monday that he hasn't seen a copy of Mr. Taylor's lawsuit and couldn't discuss it. Mr. Taylor was fired for a number of policy violations, Chief Allen said.
In his lawsuit, Mr. Taylor contends anything he might have said about the Waynesboro Police Department concerned matters of public interest and his right to free speech outweighed any legitimate city interest. A lawsuit represents only one side of an issue.