The family of a Sylvester man shot and killed by an Albany Dougherty Drug Unit agent on the Liberty Expressway two and a half years ago has settled their lawsuit with Dougherty County. The family of Clayton Lewis will receive 40-thousand dollars.
Attorneys representing the carriers of the county's Law Enforcement Liability Insurance announced the settlement. The ADDU Board says the settlement in no way implies any wrongdoing in the shooting.
The drug agent said Lewis pulled a gun... and Farley shot him eight times... and himself once. No drugs or guns were found in the car. A gun was found on the expressway. The shooting was ruled justified by the GBI and a special prosecutor.
Albany Dougherty Drug Unit Policy and Review Board Chairman Chief Don Cheek said "The settlement agreed upon by Columbia Causality Company is in the total amount of $40,000, and is the minimum settlement covered by their policy."
The lawsuit claimed the drug agent used excessive force and reckless indifference in shooting Lewis. The suit sought money for 9 children.
The ADDU board said the settlement was a business decision made by the insurance company's attorney, and they acknowledge no wrong doing.
Cheek said "That was negotiations conducted by the attorneys representing the insurance carrier, and the attorney representing the estate. We were not involved."
The ADDU board members said they are glad to have this fatal incident concluded in the civil court.
ADDU Commander Major Bill Berry said "I'm glad it's behind us so we can concentrate on other activities, and the officers cannot have to worry about, or sit back and be concerned about what's going on."
And they want the community to know that the $40,000 is paid by the insurance company, and does not come out of any taxpayer funds.
The drug agent involved in the shooting, Mark Farley, is not assigned to ADDU anymore, but he is still with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office in a training division role.
We tried to contact the insurance company attorney and the Lewis family attorney... but neither returned our calls.