Former Lakeland officers are suing mayor and council -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Former Lakeland officers are suing mayor and council

By Jade Bulecza - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -  Two former Lakeland Police officers are suing the mayor and four council members.

The officers say the mayor tried to get them to arrest innocent people and tear up tickets handed out to his friends.

The officers say they were fired when they refused.

Robbie Grantham and Kevin Trolinger two former members of the Lakeland Police Department have filed a complaint against Mayor Bill Darsey and four council members. The suit claims Grantham and Trolinger were fired because they rejected the Mayor's politically motivated demands.

 "We expect our clients to testify as to being asked by the mayor to target individuals in the community for arrests and these requests we're not made with regard to probable cause and the things the law requires," said Grantham and Trolinger's attorney James Radford.

Mayor Darsey says it's a frivolous suit and he's not worried about it.

One complaint in the suit says Darsey demanded Officer Grantham "find something" with which to charge a business owner who was believed to have supported the mayor's opponent in 2009.

 "The complaint speaks for itself," said Radford. "It's public record people can look at it and see the allegations we made and we hope we'll be able to prove these things in the court of law."

Mayor Darsey referred us to the city attorney George Wynn who told us he hasn't reviewed the lawsuit yet. An attorney has not been selected yet.

Once Grantham was fired, Trolinger who was a captain became the acting chief. He was later  terminated. He says the mayor asked him to fix tickets.

The complaint was filed March 17 and mayor and council have until the middle of April to answer the complaint.

Shirley Roberts was the only council member we were able to reach Wednesday but she refused to comment on the lawsuit.

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