Neither Mayor Jack Reed Jr. nor city attorney John Hill wanted to discuss the court motion asking for Hardy's reinstatement to the department. It was filed by Hardy's attorney Jim Waide during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Hill said he first saw the motion Monday and wouldn't comment or take action until first talking with the mayor and City Council. Reed said he hadn't yet seen the document.
Hardy, who won a federal lawsuit against the city in July, originally wanted money for the loss of his police job. A jury had agreed Hardy was pushed out of employment after he said a colleague was "persecuted" because of his race. Hardy is white and the colleague is black.
But now that two of the department's top officials have decided to retire, Hardy wants to come back to work.
Chief Harold Chaffin will leave at the end of December; his second-in-command, Maj. Ronny Thomas, stepped down in October. Hardy had insisted both men brought "Those responsible for the retaliation against (Hardy) are leaving the department or have left the department, and there is no reason (Hardy) cannot resume his work there," the motion states. "Only reinstatement, not front pay, can make him whole."
According to the terms of the court settlement, Hardy would receive about $300,000 - about two-thirds of which represented lost future earnings. The rest was for back pay.
Waide said Hardy would keep the back pay but forgo the front pay if reinstated. That decision could be made by either the city or U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock, who presided over the summer trial.
There is no time limit for such a decision, Waide said.