ABERDEEN - A federal lawsuit filed by James Shelton and Faye Powell against the City of Aberdeen and Ward 2 Alderman Cloyd Garth has been settled out of court. According to Jim Waide, attorney for the plaintiffs, the case has been dismissed with prejudice. Waide could not comment on the settlement amount.
The suit, which was filed in October 2006, states that Shelton and Powell, both members of the Aberdeen Police Department at the time, were fired from the department in an effort spearheaded by Garth.
According to the complaint, the officers were dispatched to a disturbance at the Park and Rec building on Commerce St. Garth was allegedly involved in the disturbance and ordered Shelton, who arrived at the scene first, to amp"tell his adversaries in the disturbance to leave.amp" Both Shelton and Powell declined to follow Garth's orders. The complaint states that Garth become loud and disruptive and was eventually arrested. The complaint also alleges both Garth and his wife told the plaintiffs they world be amp"fired.amp"
The two were fired at the following board meeting in a amp"yes voteamp" by Garth, Ward 1 Alderman Alonzo Sykes and then-Ward 3 Alderman Willie Cook, listed as amp"allies of Garth'samp" in the lawsuit.
A motion was made by then-Ward 5 Alderman Brunson Odom to rehire the two police officers on July 18, 2006, but the motion failed when Garth, Cook and Sykes voted no. The complaint states that Garth should not have cast a vote in the decision and was advised not to do so by City Attorney Bob Faulks.