City of Tupelo denied new trial in Hardy case

TUPELO – Tupelo City Council must decide if it will appeal the denial of a new trial or other judicial orders made about former Police Capt. Cliff Hardy’s employment lawsuit.
A federal jury found in July that Hardy was pushed out of his job after public remarks he made in 2006 to defend his colleague and friend, Robert Hall, under fire for a decision he made as Tupelo Police Department’s deputy chief.
Hardy is white and Hall is black. Hardy insisted the department’s decisions toward him were in retaliation for his remarks.
City Attorney John Hill said Monday, after U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock issued her 41-page order, that the appeal decision will be up to the council.
Besides the trial denial, Aycock upheld the jury’s $200,000 award to Hardy for mental anxiety.
But she reduced the $100,000 back-pay award to $85,415 less retirement benefits. She asked both sides to submit briefs and other documentation within 15 days of her order.
Aycock rejected the city’s motions for changes in various rulings she made during the trial.
Tupelo attorney Jim Waide, who represents Hardy, said he thought Aycock’s trial rulings were correct and still are.

Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or patsy.brumfield@djournal.com.

Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal