Troopers offered re-instatement and time credits towards promotion
(ATLANTA, GA) – The Georgia Department of Public Safety announced that a settlement has been reached in the lawsuit brought by 26 Georgia State Patrol troopers who graduated from the 106th Georgia State Patrol Trooper School Class and subsequently lost their jobs when the whole class was fired. The firing of the whole Class in 2020 was based on allegations of cheating on a radar/lidar test during Trooper School. The troopers, through their attorneys, filed a complaint for violation of the Georgia Whistleblowers Protection Act and, in January 2021, they were vindicated.
Now, as a result of mediation, the Trooper-plaintiffs and their attorneys will receive an $850,000 monetary settlement. In addition, 24 of the 26 will receive offers of reinstatement along with several months of credit towards promotion.
Two of the GSP Troopers were from the local area, Walton County resident, Nicholas Hawkins who graduated Top Gun and Rebecca Moran of Gwinnett County who was recognized for her leadership in Sergeant-at-Arms. It is not known at this time if either of them wish to take up the offer of returning to their positions. Hawkins had been assigned to Post 46 in Monroe.
In a press release announcing the settlement, the Department of Public Safety denied any legal liability, but said that the Department of Public Safety “seeks to move the Georgia State Patrol past this dispute and avoid years of contentious litigation, especially after the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.) cleared the Troopers of cheating on the radar/lidar test.”
The Department of Public Safety, Georgia State Patrol, and Office of the Attorney General for the State of Georgia, as well as the attorneys and the Troopers involved in this settlement made an official joint press statement for public recognition noting that “the Department has adopted the POST Council findings, compensated these Troopers, and offered reinstatement with the Georgia State Patrol. It is the desire of all parties involved, that this joint press statement will aid in bringing closure and healing to a stressful, emotional, and extremely difficult time.”
The Georgia Department of Public Safety noted that there will be no further comments on the matter.