The woman at the center of the "golf cart controversy" is appealing her recent termination by the Canton Police Department.
The attorney for former Sgt. Stacy Bailey claims that extrinsic evidence and altered documents show that his client was not guilty of violating a financial policy she was allegedly never subject to in the first place.
Bailey was terminated from her position in November for violating the City of Canton Financial Policy and allegedly concealing her affair with Sandy Springs Police Cpt. Scott Jamison in order to purchase a golf cart for Jamison's disabled son using Explorers program money.
Bailey has appealed her termination on Dec. 17 by filing a notice to that effect with the City of Canton. In the notice, Bailey included the documents she says prove she never changed the security on the Explorers bank account and that she was never party to the City of Canton's Financial Policy. The documents have been attached to this article.
Bailey's appeal of her termination includes copies of original Cherokee Bank documents from 2006, when Bailey opened the account for the Explorers program she was to head for the department.
The first document of Oct. 3, 2006 lists Bailey and former Chief Jeff Lance as authorized signatories on checks written for the account. Additionally, the document states 14 times that the number of signatories required for a check was one.
Later on Oct. 3, a man named Scott Hoffman was added to the signatory list, and the original number of required signatories was removed with white out. The original number of one was replaced with two, meaning that two of the authorized signatories had to sign off on a check for it to be valid.
Despite this change, Bailey's attorney Lance LoRusso cites extrinsic evidence-evidence that no party in the case could possibly have control over-to show that if this extra signature was required, it was never enforced. According to LoRusso, checks that were cleared by Cherokee Bank for six years between 2006-12 show that only one signature was needed to make purchases using the Explorers account.
Additionally, LoRusso says that during the internal investigation conducted by the Marietta Police Department, the officers in charge of the investigation failed to investigate anyone from the bank about this apparent discrepancy. The report of the Marietta investigation shows no interviews with any bank personnel.
The Marietta investigation also concludes that Bailey changed the number of required signatories from two to one earlier this year. LoRusso contends that the documents from January, 2012 were an updated signatories list and that the one required signature was unchanged from the original 2006 documentation.
Was Bailey Subject to the City of Canton Financial Policy?
One of the primary reasons listed for Bailey's termination by both the Marietta investigation and Chief Robert Merchant in his letter of termination was Bailey's violation of the City of Canton Financial Policy.
According to LoRusso, the money from the Explorers program budget was never under the jurisdiction of the City of Canton because it was money donated to the program from members of the public.
"The Canton Financial Policy applies to city funds that are budgeted and are audited on a regular basis," LoRusso said. "Explorer money was never audited or budgeted because it was always private funds."
It seems that acquiring a copy of this policy is also somehwat difficult; LoRusso alleges that neither the Police Department nor City Hall had a copy available to Bailey when she requested one during the investigation. Bailey claims that the first time she saw a copy of the policy was during the internal investigation by the Marietta Police Department.
LoRusso says that when Bailey first went to the city's finance department for a tax ID for the Explorers bank account, the department gave her a number and said they would ensure the account was set up for a non-profit entity.
Documents from the Marietta investigation show that the number Bailey was given was shared by the City of Canton as its tax ID. LoRusso said that Bailey thought her ID number was unique.
Furthermore, LoRusso questions the diligence of the finance department in its handling of the account.
"Why wasn't Canton auditing this account for six years?," LoRusso said.
The Marietta investigation chastised the finance department for its handling of the Explorers bank account.
In Merchant's letter to Bailey notifying her of her termination, Merchant writes that during the period between May 30, 2011 and June 30, 2012, the Explorers program received $31,830.74 and spent $31,943.79. Merchant says the lack of checks and balances on Bailey's handling of the account was, "inexcusable and indefensible."
LoRusso says that Bailey handed over all receipts of the Explorers program when asked to by Merchant, and that only $113.05 of expenses are unaccounted for. According to LoRusso's math, that is an error rate of .004 percent.
LoRusso says that Canton Police authorities and the Explorers program board were on board with Bailey's proposal to honor one special child after abandoning the "Shop With A Cop" program. LoRusso claims that the support of the head of the Explorers board to change the program was attained before Bailey met Scott Jamison in May, 2011.
The Marietta investigation says that Bailey neglected to inform her superiors or the board that the child she wished to honor was the son of the man she was having an affair with, and had they known that to be the case they would have vetoed the purchase.
LoRusso says the Marietta investigation was poorly handled and improperly carried out. Not once in the document is there any mention of interviewing Cherokee Bank personnel or anyone on the Explorers board.
"They didn't look at the evidence properly," LoRusso said.