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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sheriff posts snipers after firings
Georgia judge orders workers reinstated
Tuesday, January 4, 2005 Posted: 11:20 PM EST (0420 GMT)


JONESBORO, Georgia (AP) -- On his first day on the job, the new sheriff called 27 employees into his office, stripped them of their badges, fired them, and had rooftop snipers stand guard as they were escorted out the door.

The move Monday by Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill provoked an angry reaction and prompted a judge to order him to rehire the employees.

"It appears ... that employees of the Sheriff were terminated without cause" and in violation of the county's civil service rules, Judge Stephen Boswell wrote in granting a 30-day restraining order.

Hill, 39, defended the firings and said the new sheriff has the right to shake up the department in whatever way he feels necessary. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he fired the employees to "maintain the integrity of the department."

"A lot of people are under the impression that the sheriff's office is under civil service laws," he said. "But my research shows the employees work at the pleasure of the sheriff."

The firings had a racial overtone. Hill was among a spate of black candidates elected last year in the county once dominated by rural whites. The county seat was the setting for the fictional plantation Tara in "Gone With The Wind."

The fired employees included four of the highest-ranking officers, all of them white. Hill told the newspaper their replacements would be black.

Another of the newly elected black officials, Eldrin Bell, called the move illegal and filed for the restraining order granted by the judge. Bell is the new county commission chairman and former Atlanta police chief.

Hill said the manner in which he fired the workers -- including taking some deputies home in vans normally used to transport prisoners because the deputies were barred from using county cars -- was necessary.

He cited the assassination of Sheriff Derwin Brown in neighboring DeKalb County in 2000. Brown was gunned down in the driveway of his home three days before he was to be sworn in. Former sheriff Sidney Dorsey was found guilty of plotting to kill him and sentenced to life in prison.

"Derwin Brown sent out letters to 25 to 30 people letting them know they would not be reappointed when he took office," Hill said.

The sheriff's department employs 345 workers.
 

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No, no, its never racism in cases like this....its "payback". You know for the years of the man keeping the oppressed under his thumb.

It always bothers me that people who say they want to be treated like everyone else go through some extreme measures to maintain their "differences" (ie kwanzaa, black history month, "african-American", BET, etc, etc)....
 

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Let's see if the ACLU wil step up to the plate on this one since it's white males loosing their rights.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Preacher said:
Let's see if the ACLU wil step up to the plate on this one since it's white males loosing their rights.
Fool!

White males have no rights!

Dang, that sounds like something Fred would say. :sick:
 

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Pogo said:
Fool!

White males have no rights!

Dang, that sounds like something Fred would say. :sick:
Exactly the point I was trying to make. The ACLU won't touch this with a 10 foot pole.
 

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While it'd never happen, I would like the ACLU or the Civil Right Commission, or someone to take a closer look at this. These could have been a bunch of bigoted crackers with individual histories of using their police power to harass local Blacks who had finally lost the protection a White sheriff had given them - or this could be a bunch of dedicated peace officers getting fired for no reason other than the color of their skin.

If the latter, the sheriff should be called to task for it, possibly Federal prosecution for civil rights violations. I really don't know what the applicable laws would be, but does seem to me that Federal law prohibits racial discrimination in personnel practices.

[The deal about serving "at the pleasure" of the sheriff is a common misinterpretation of the "at will employment" doctrine. A lot of folks think that "at will employment" means that the employer can fire you at any time for any reason. Nope. There's a very important stipulation: The employer can fire you at any time for any reason that doesn't violate public policy. And US public policy prohibits firitng someone because of the color of their skin.]
 

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Custer said:
Can you fire someone for no reason, Dizzy?
More savvy employers set up a probationary period for new employees and during that probationary period a person can be canned for failure to successfully complete probation - with no stated reason as to why they failed to successfully complete probation.

Everyone who's fired is fired for a reason. The question is whether the reason need be stated. With probation-period policies you can get out of stating the actual reason for firing a new employee - they were fired for failure to successfully complete the probationary period.

I guess you could fire someone without stating the reason, even without probationary period policies. In this case, stating that the deputies serve at the pleasure of the sheriff and it simply is no longer the pleasure of the sheriff to have them employed. But you're gonna find yourself in court. And this guy ought to find himself in court.

[Weird thing is that with illicitly discriminatory hiring/firing practices we're at the crossroads of evil and stupidity. You've been an employer, Custer, you know how hard it is to get a good employee. It's not only evil to fire a good employee because of the color of his/her skin, it's stupid. Harking to the specific case at hand, it is exceptionally difficult for rural county sheriffs departments to get good deputies - if these folks were good cops, it was exceptionally stupid to fire them 'cause he's going to have a heck of a time trying to find other good cops who will work for the wages a rural deputy gets.]
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Probationary periods do not protect you from unlawful discharge suits. They came into vogue many years ago in labor union contracts to avoid the grievance and arbitration provision with new hires. They usually track the time period before the new person has to pay union dues.

Even in a union setting, the probationary employee can claim the discharge was due to race, sex, etc. and pursure a claim with EEOC or in court. Some non union employers use probationary periods for reasons that make no sense to me.

I have not used them in about 20 years. It sends the wrong message to new employees and current employees.
 

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Caught the tail end of this last night on the news here in ATL. Guess maybe I missed it. Is the new Sherrif black?
 

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yosuthnmasa said:
Caught the tail end of this last night on the news here in ATL. Guess maybe I missed it. Is the new Sherrif black?
Yes. But the newly elected county commissioneer, also black, is fighting for them to get their jobs back.
 

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From my understanding, it is common for employees of a sheriff to serve at his pleasure. Each Sheriff wants personel loyal to him. Of course, a sheriff cannot fire employees on the basis of race.

On the other hand, I question the tactics used and wonder whether the new sheriff may have committed torts, including false restraint, assault, and perhaps intentional infliction of emotional distress, as welll as possible 42 USC 1983 violations of civil rights. Obviously bad press, poor people skills ... doubt he will make a good sheriff.
 
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