Chattanooga Settles, Reinstates Officers

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The City of Chattanooga has reached a settlement with 14 officers, who were reassigned because of integrity standards. The officers have been reinstated and reimbursed for lost earnings during their reassignments.

The Chattanooga Police Department enhanced their truthfulness policy, raising concerns from employees. These employees believed that assignment and personnel changes were out of compliance with existing department policies.

The officers were alleged to have been less than truthful on the job, we reported back in August. 

The city announced the settlement on Wednesday. They say the issue took lawyers months to untangle. This is because of questions involving HR policies, state laws, due process and other issues.

They say the police department is moving forward with the new, higher standards of truthfulness and officer conduct. This mandates termination of any officer who lies or purposely misstates facts.

The city says going forward, there will be no gray area in the CPD’s policy. The CPD says they will hold their officers to the highest standards of truthfulness and integrity. Any lack of truthfulness will result in termination.

“Chief Murphy has worked to raise the standards for police integrity and eliminate gray areas from CPD’s policy manual, which the administration supports, and we must also be compliant with state law and department policy,” said Joda Thongnopnua, chief of staff for the City of Chattanooga.

He goes on, “This discussion could have dragged out quite a bit longer, but after consulting with our attorneys, all parties agreed that it was in the best interests of our residents to settle the legal questions of the past, and focus on moving forward with the department’s new, higher conduct standards.”

The settlement costs are expected to be less than $60,000. All affected officers were offered identical settlement terms, according to the City of Chattanooga.

Categories: Chattanooga, Local News