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Appeal by former officers denied

Federal agency declines to take case

POSTED: April 13, 2014 1:00 a.m.

FORSYTH COUNTY — A group of former Forsyth County law enforcement officers was informed this week that their request for help from the U.S. Equal Employment Commission has been denied.

A letter from the EEOC was issued to the 11 former officers on Tuesday, one day after they had presented their case to the Supreme Court of Georgia. The officers, who were laid off by Sheriff Duane Piper in February 2013, have asked the court to rule on whether the local civil service board should hear their termination appeal.  The letter from the EEOC dismissed the appeal for help from that agency. The EEOC said it is “unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes.”

During Monday’s case before the Supreme Court, the officers, represented by attorney Lance LoRusso, said they were denied due process by not receiving a civil service hearing. They also noted that while there positions were being eliminated, the office was hiring multiple employees.  LoRusso could not immediately be reached for comment.

Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said “it’s never a pleasant situation when you have to let someone go, especially since I worked with all these individuals.”

“The citizens elected me to the office of sheriff and I take my role seriously. This is almost a 40 million dollar-a-year business and it’s my responsibility to manage it effectively,” he said.

“I am standing by my promise of maintaining public safety, increasing efficiency and professionalism while reducing costs.”


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