Former mayor seeks to be dismissed from lawsuit


by Jackson Latta



PRESTONSBURG — Lawyers for former Prestonsburg Mayor Jerry Fannin filed a motion last week in Floyd Circuit Court asking that the case against him be finally dismissed.

In the motion, filed Monday October 5, the law firm of Wyatt, Tarrant, and Combs made a motion on behalf of Fannin seeking to finally have the case against Fannin completely dismissed.

The lawsuit in question was brought last year against the City of Prestonsburg and Fannin by three former Prestonsburg Police officers claiming they were dismissed from their jobs improperly.

Former officers Steve Little, Chad Penix and Brian Walker filed a joint lawsuit against the city and mayor on October of 2014. In their complaint, the former officers alleged that each was terminated from his position “via letter or by a secretary informing him that he was relieved of his duties” and that those firings did not meet the requirements of the Kentucky Police Officers Bill of Rights.

The complaint also alleged that all three men were fired due to their political opinions or perceived political opinions, and that Little was fired due to his age. Fannin was defeated in last Novembers election by current mayor Les Stapleton.

In July of this year a partial judgment was issued by Floyd County Circuit Judge Thomas Smith. In that judgment claims brought against the defendants pursuant to Article II of the Kentucky constitution were dismissed with prejudice. Claims brought against the City of Prestonsburg for alleged violation of its personnel policies were dismissed with prejudice. And the claims brought against Jerry Fannin, individually, were dismissed with prejudice.

A memorandum attached to last weeks motion states that there are no pending claims against Fannin, and that as he no longer holds the office of Mayor, he should be finally dismissed from the lawsuit. They state that “the plaintiffs claims against Mr. Fanin in his official capacity as Mayor are legally indistinguishable from their claims against the city of Prestosnburg.” Citing Mathie v. Fries, they note that “A claim against a person ‘in his former official capacity’ has no meaning.”

by Jackson Latta

Reach Jackson Latta at (606) 886-8506

Reach Jackson Latta at (606) 886-8506

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