WARNER ROBINS -- The citys answer to an employees $500,000 lawsuit denies even Kenny Allens claim that criminal charges against him were dropped.
The citys response, filed last week in Houston County Superior Court, claims immunity for the city as well as for former Public Works Director Joe Musselwhite and for Chuck Shaheen, a former mayor and current councilman. The two men are included in the citys defense, and the city also denies claims that Musselwhite and Shaheen made comments insinuating that Allen got away with committing crimes.
Allen filed the lawsuit April 18, saying the city defamed him and improperly arrested him after an investigation found no evidence to back Musselwhites claims that Allen had been stealing fuel from the city. The lawsuit includes the paperwork saying the charges had been dropped, but it contains no documentation to support Allens claim that a police investigation found no evidence against Allen.
The citys answer to the lawsuit denies that Musselwhite ever claimed Allen had been stealing fuel, and that a police investigation found no basis for the claims.
Defendants acted on the basis of probable cause and reasonable belief based on an investigation by the Warner Robins police with respect to plaintiff, wrote Thomas F. Richardson and J. Travis Hall, who represent all the defendants.
Richardson and Hall say their clients also may be protected because of the statute of limitations.
Allens lawsuit said Musselwhite began investigating him in April 2012, that he was arrested in August of that year and that the charge of theft by taking was dropped in April 2013.
The city is asking for the case to be dismissed and for Allen to bear all legal costs.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.