Wrongful firing lawsuit dismissed and other news from areas around Chattanooga

Wrongful firing lawsuit dismissed and other news from areas around Chattanooga

December 21st, 2013 by Staff Reports and Associated Press in Local Regional News

Wrongful firing lawsuit dismissed

BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. - A federal judge in Chattanooga has dismissed a lawsuit in which a former Bradley County, Tenn., deputy sheriff claimed he was wrongfully fired.

U.S. District Judge Curtis Collier dismissed the lawsuit by Dallas Longwith against Bradley County, the sheriff's office and Sheriff Jim Ruth, according to a news release from sheriff's spokesman Bob Gault.

Longwith was fired in January 2012 for conduct unbecoming an officer and failing to comply with a direct order of a superior, the release states.

Earlier, Longwith had been suspended after the sheriff's office said neighbors had complained at least twice about him mowing his lawn in his underwear.

Longwith said that he was wearing knee-length shorts, not underwear. He claimed he was terminated for political reasons because he openly supported another candidate for sheriff in the 2014 races.

In the lawsuit filed in January, Longwith claimed he was only one of dozens of sheriff's office employees fired or demoted for political reasons.

Collier's ruling stated that Longwith put forth no evidence sufficient to overcome the summary judgment.

"He had not demonstrated that Sheriff Ruth knew about - never mind fired him because of - plaintiff's activities in support of someone else's potential 2014 bid for sheriff," Gault stated in the news release.

Suspects caught in pink Cadillac

CALHOUN, Ga. - Three suspects in a Calhoun assault might have had a better chance of escape if their getaway car were something other than a pink Cadillac.

Police arrived at the victim's Harkins Street home Tuesday to find her bleeding profusely, Chief Garry Moss said in a news release. The woman, whose name was not released, said she had been cut by a woman she knew and the suspects had driven off in the pink Caddy en route to Atlanta.

A statewide alert was issued and the Cadillac was stopped by police in Emerson, Ga., just north of Cobb County, Moss said.

Calhoun detectives brought the three suspects, all from South Carolina, back to Gordon County.

Ashley Nichole Brunson faces one count of aggravated assault and one count of possession of marijuana, Quanita LaShea Peterson is charged with aggravated assault and possession of marijuana, and Coreshia Malasia Henry is charged with forgery, giving false information to a police officer, possession of marijuana and being a fugitive from justice in South Carolina, Moss said.

The victim was treated for knife wounds, he said.

Coroner charged in theft of car

AUGUSTA, Ga. - Bond has been set at $3,000 for the Richmond County coroner, who prosecutors say stole a car belonging to a dead man.

The Augusta Chronicle reports Coroner Grover Tuten appeared in court Friday, a day after he was arrested.

District Attorney Ashley Wright says Tuten is suspected of keeping a 2004 Nissan Altima belonging to a man who died in April and using it as his personal vehicle. Wright says Tuten paid to have the car serviced in May and was using a tag issued for a trailer he owns.

Prosecutors say the coroner is supposed to secure any property and turn it over to the school board if no one claims it after four years.