Canton Police Department sergeant and former spokeswoman Stacy Bailey, who used funds from the department's Explorer program to purchase a golf cart for the disabled son of the police captain she was having an affair with, has been terminated by the department. Bailey has sued the City of Canton claiming her overtime and merit pay was withheld by the city.
Bailey was terminated from the department on Nov. 27, after Merchant reviewed the report of the internal investigation.
"You made a conscientious decision to use your position, influence and ability to purchase the golf cart," wrote Merchant to Bailey. "You misused your authority for personal gain and your conduct undermined the public's trust in our department."
"In this matter, you exercised extremely poor judgement and the totality of circumstances is such that your employment with the CPD cannot continue," the termination notice concludes.
Merchant asked the Marietta Police Department to conduct an internal investigation on the actions of Sgt. Bailey once the purchase of the golf cart for the son of then Sandy Springs Police Cpt. Scott Jamison became public knowledge.
Merchant commissioned the internal investigation after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted its own investigation of Bailey but declined to press criminal charges against her for her conduct.
The report of the Marietta Police Department (which is attached in this article) concludes that Bailey conducted herself inappropriately and violated ten of 13 provisions of the City of Canton Policy Manual, the City of Canton Financial Policy Manual, and state law regarding financial fraud.
According to Bailey, the idea to purchase something for a needy child arose from her decision to end the "shop with a cop" program because a Canton police officer was abusing the program for his family's gain.
The decision to instead reward one needy child with a gift was approved by her superiors, including former Chief Jeff Lance and the informal board that controlled the Explorer program. Bailey did not decide to give a gift to Jamison's son or decide on the nature of the gift until months after their affair began in May, 2011.
When the affair ended in June 2012, Bailey allegedly left harrassing phone calls with Jamison, which prompted him to complain to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office. The internal investigation concluded that the fact that Jamison had to file a formal complaint against Bailey, "reflected discredit on her and the City of Canton."
Marietta Police discovered in the course of their investigation that Bailey had changed the Explorer program's bank account security by eliminating the need for two people to sign off on any purchases. Bailey testified during the course of the investigation that the account had always been set up to require only one signature, but documentation from 2006 proved this claim to be untrue.
Additionally, the bank account was created using the City of Canton's tax ID number and was never properly set up as a non-profit account.
Bailey also neglected to keep or turn in receipts of purchases made on the account's debit card to the city finance department. The investigation criticised the City of Canton's finance department for not auditing the Explorer program's bank account, which gave Bailey, "unsupervised, complete control of the Explorer account."
A later audit performed at the behest of Merchant discovered receipts of $31,830.74 and disbursements of $31,943.79.
"The lack of checks and balances is inexcusable and indefensible," wrote Merchant to Bailey in her termination notice.
Additionally, Bailey did not inform her superiors, Deputy Chief Todd Vandezande and Chief Lance, that the purchase of the golf cart was for the son of the man she was having an affair with. Both men stated in the internal investigation that they would not have approved the purchase of the golf cart had they known Bailey was having an affair with Jamison.
Bailey, who was placed on administrative leave on July 18, sued the City of Canton in October claiming the city was in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
According to the suit (which is attached to the article), Bailey was denied her legally-required overtime compensation pay. Officers who work over 86 hours in a 14 day period are entitled to time and a half for any work performed over the limit. Bailey claims she received no overtime compensation whilst other officers did.
In addition, Bailey asserts that a promised five percent wage increase, earned in July, 2012 when she earned her master's degree, was never given to her. Again, Bailey's suit says that other police officers who earned master's degrees did see their pay increased.
Bailey is suing for her lost wages, interest on her lost wages, her back pay and damages.
Please stay with Canton-Sixes Patch as we continue to discover more on this story.