City manager defends new APD Captain's past - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

City manager defends new APD Captain's past

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Albany city leaders are praising their new lineup of police deputy chiefs and captains. WALB News 10 found out one of the new hires quit his last job amid accusations he broke the law.

New Albany Police Captain Russell Barnes resigned as Police Chief in Zephyrhills, Florida last year an hour before the city council was scheduled to vote on firing him.

He was accused of violating city law by allowing officers to take time off instead of getting overtime pay for extra hours worked. Albany City Manager Alfred Lott says he was aware of the allegations.

He says Barnes went through a strict screening process by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the allegations had no effect on his law enforcement certification.

"An allegation is just what it is. Anybody can do that. It's freedom of speech. But my point is that we checked this person's background as a manager, a human being and as a law enforcement officer using one of the most efficient organizations in the state to do so and they recommended him to us," said Lott.

Lott says Barnes had letters of support from Zephyrhills city council members and even the city manager who recommended he be fired.