City Spends Thousands Appealing Case
Updated: Wednesday, February 6 2013, 05:58 PM EST
The legal bill to keep a fired Asheville police officer off the force tops tens of thousands of dollars, and that figure is likely to increase with yet another appeal filed by the city. "I don't know what the motive would be to keep pursuing this," wondered Asheville taxpayer Jesse Warne.
Asheville is preparing to do battle a third time to make sure former officer Roger Aly stays off the job. The two year legal fight has already cost taxpayers $70,000, according to a spokeswoman. "It just seems like too much," said Warne.
Aly was let go in June of 2010 for conduct unbecoming an officer. Then-Chief Bill Hogan said lewd images and racist material were found on a computer Aly rented. But Aly fought back and took his case before the city's Civil Service Board, which reversed the firing and ordered Aly rehired with back pay.
"If the guy is willing to come back and do his job and serve the community again, that's something I'm all for," Warne said. But the city appealed to Superior Court, where a judge again ruled in Aly's favor.
It seemed like a done deal until this week city lawyers announced they'll try again by taking the case before the NC Court of Appeals. Meanwhile the city has already spent in legal fees what it would've paid Aly in salary during this fight. "It just seems like a bit much to keep pouring money into something, especially when it's been decided a couple times in the gentleman's favor," said Warne.
The city refused to comment for this story citing the ongoing legal case. Aly's lawyers issued a statement saying the man is disappointed the city won't drop its case.
It's worth noting, however, not everyone agrees Aly should get his job back One thing is certain, though, the price tag on this case will rise.
By: Mario Boone, firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow Mario on Twitter @MarioBoone
Former Officer Fights for His Job
Ruling to Reinstate Officer
UPDATE: Officer Reinstated