Jury Returns Defense Verdict on Due Process Liberty Interest Claim
Dan Hartzog, Jr. obtained a defense verdict on all claims in a federal lawsuit brought by a former Police Lieutenant who was terminated a few days after he was named the next Police Chief of a City. After making the announcement, the City learned that he was under investigation by the SBI and placed him on administrative leave. During that time, the local newspaper reported on the matter on a regular basis. The City Manager declined to comment, but did confirm that he was under investigation. Plaintiff was ultimately terminated after several months of administrative leave. Defendant obtained dismissal of the majority of the claims, but a due process liberty interest claim was allowed to proceed to trial. Following a week-long trial, the trial judge granted a directed verdict as to the claims against the City Manager, and the jury returned with a full defense verdict as to the claims against the City.