May 10, 2017 03:10 PM
Updated May 10, 2017 04:41 PM
By the end of 2011, three police officers decided that their small Davie County force had become so corrupt that they anonymously called the governor’s office on a disposable cell phone and asked the State Bureau of Investigation to get involved.
The SBI did get involved: first meeting with the police chief and his deputy chief, and then leaving a message on the officers’ cell phone, which they didn’t return because they didn’t trust the agent.
Two weeks later they were fired.
Those events in Mocksville led to multimillion-dollar lawsuit verdicts for the officers – one of whom has been out of work so long that his law enforcement credential has expired while the case drags on.
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Jury awards $1.7M to ‘whistleblower’ Morristown officer removed from detective bureau
MORRISTOWN — Town Officer Keith Hudson was awarded $1.7 million in damages Tuesday by a jury that found he blew the whistle on Police Chief Peter Demnitz’s “double-dipping” and was thrown out of the detective bureau in retaliation.
The jury of four women and two men initially deliberated about 90 minutes before awarding Hudson $10,000 in damages for emotional distress and $199,431 for back and future pay he would have earned as a detective between his ouster on Aug. 1, 2015 and his anticipated retirement date in 2028.
By law, the jury also had to separately consider punitive damages against the town as punishment for “willful and wanton” conduct – retaliation against an employee with a reasonable belief that wrongdoing was occurring. The jury deliberated another hour, returning with a verdict of $1.5 million in punitive damages against the town.