August 26, 2012 North Myrtle Beach, SC - The year 2010 was a rough one for the City of North Myrtle Beach. Lots of accusations were flying, recordings secretly taped were being aired, charges of unfair dismissals, sexual discrimination lawsuits, Freedom of Information Act litigation and one media reporting that the city paid four times what a property was worth.
A court order issued by the United States District Court in Florence may have finely settled one contentions issue. The court dismissed the Randy Fisher collective suit against the City, former Public Safety Director William Bailey, former City Manager John Smithson and Assistant City Manager Steve Thomas.
Randy Fisher, former Public Safety Officer alleged that he was forced to resign because he complained of disparate treatment of male and female employees, reported perceived favoritism, raised issues regarding illegal handling of funds, and was believed to have provided confidential information to a private citizen regarding wildfires.
In making their decision, the court wrote that Plaintiff’s allegations are insufficient to support a First Amendment retaliation claim that is “plausible on its face.” Plaintiff’s claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy fails on its face.
The court let stand one Civil Rights Act Title VII claim that could proceed.
According to publically available court records, William Bailey still has three claims pending against the City of North Myrtle Beach, some filed since June of last year.
New to the scene is a filing by former police sergeant Jeff Senter filed in July of this year. The lawsuit names as defendants, the City of North Myrtle Beach, the Aquatic & Fitness Center, Melissa Edge, Tracy Edge, David Hatley and Marilyn Hatley. The lawsuit alleges the defendants conspired to fire him from his twelve year job with Public Safety. His firing followed the disclosure of a dash cam video capturing a confrontation between him and Melissa Edge. The city’s position is that they fired Senter because of his actions on the video where he failed to give a sobriety test to Melissa Edge.