2018-12-05 / Front Page

WPD lieutenant fired after investigation

DIANA ROYAL

An officer who was fired for an alleged attempt to organize a mass resignation at the Waynesboro Police Department has filed an appeal with the city.

Lt. Theodore Jackson was released from his duties at the WPD on Nov. 16, following a nearly month-long investigation. In a termination letter to Jackson, WPD Chief Augustus Palmer wrote, “Based on preliminary information provided by several employees, I requested an internal affairs investigation be conducted to determine if you were involved in organizing a work action designed to adversely affect the morale, operations and/or efficiency of the Police Department … Your conduct is egregious, unprofessional and constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer.”

The letter also cited three violations of the city personnel policy: gross misconduct, violation of departmental rules and conduct unbecoming of an officer.

Jackson was also under a separate internal affairs investigation that was left without a disposition due to his termination. City manager Jerry Coalson said that investigation had no bearing on the decision to terminate Jackson.

While Chief Palmer said he could not discuss the details of Jackson’s termination, he did say that the officer had been placed under administrative leave with pay on Oct. 29 and that Jackson had not been penalized during the investigation.

Jackson, who had been an employee of the WPD since March 2013, has since appealed Chief Palmer’s termination to Coalson for review.

On Nov. 30, Coalson received a letter from Jackson’s legal representative, Augusta attorney John Brown, requesting a “full hearing and due process before (Jackson’s) termination is made final.” He referred to the termination as wrongful, stating that Jackson expects to receive full pay during the procedure and that “when the evidence is heard, Mr. Jackson is sure that he will prevail.”

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