More than two years after being fired, two former Pendergrass employees are still trying to get justice for what they allege was wrongful termination.
Former city clerk Katherine Rintoul and former police officer Bill Garner initially filed a federal lawsuit in 2009, after they lost their jobs in what they called unconstitutional retaliation by Pendergrass officials. They lost their federal lawsuit but their attorney, Nancy Val Preda, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court Friday.
Val Preda said one of the biggest difference this time around is that the law deals with “RICO” or corruption in government issues.
Another difference this time is that the federal lawsuit dealt strictly with constitutional rights, Val Preda said.
In the federal lawsuit, Judge William O’Kelley ruled that while the whistleblowers claimed that city officials committed criminal acts, the former employees didn’t prove the acts were part of a criminal conspiracy.
The Superior Court lawsuit filed last week is against: Mayor Monk Tolbert, council members Hilda Gee, Judy Stowe, John Pethel and Thomas Marlowe, city administrator Rob Russell and police officers Mark Abruzzino and Rebecca Davis.
Among the allegations cited in the lawsuit are misuse of city credit cards, allowing an unlicensed person to drive in a city vehicle and misuse of city equipment.