Vande Zande Denied Hearing
"We have not filed suit yet," the lawyer for Canton's former assistant police chief said.
Canton City Manager Scott Wood said there's no basis to change Chief Robert Merchant's decision to fire assistant police chief Todd Vande Zande.
In an Aug. 15 letter to Vande Zande, Wood wrote that he'd reviewed the matter "in accordance with the City of Canton Personnel Policy," and saw "no reason to overturn or modify his decision in the matter."
Vande Zande believes Wood was behind his Aug. 6 firing.
Since Vande Zande's termination, Wood has referred all questions to city attorney Bobby Dyer because of the potential for litigation.
"It is my understanding that the City Manager had no input or role in deciding to terminate Mr. Vande Zande, and therefore the purported basis for any legal claim would not be true," Dyer wrote in an email on the day Vande Zande was fired.
In a separate letter to Vande Zande's lawyer, Lance LoRusso of Atlanta, Dyer said there's no hearing process for terminated employees in Canton's personnel policy.
"The City of Canton's employee policies provide that an employee who has been disciplined may request that the City Manager "review" the matter," he wrote in the Aug. 17 letter to LoRusso. "The policies do not provide for a "hearing" or any process whereby witnesses would be called or evidence presented. The policies also do not provide for anyone other than the City Manager to review any disciplinary actions."
Earlier this month, LoRusso said he would "immediately seek injunctive and other relief through the Superior Court of Cherokee County against the City of Canton and individually against Wood and Merchant" if Vande Zande was fired.
So far, nothing has been filed with the court.
"We have not filed suit yet," he said today.
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