Town, police officer lawsuit going to court

Published 9:16 am Thursday, February 4, 2016

Three Mocksville police officers fired in 2011 may finally get their day in court.

Ken Hunter, Jerry Medlin and Rick Donathan filed a lawsuit against the town in 2012 claiming their rights to free speech had been violated. The three had complained to state authorities about what they perceived to be corruption in the police department, centered around now retired Police Chief Robert Cook and Town Manager Christine Bralley.

The U.S. Supreme Court last month refused to hear the town’s appeal of the decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, setting up the case for trial beginning April 4 in federal court in Winston-Salem.

“At last, the three officers who risked their careers to report corruption and misconduct in the department, are headed to trial, over four long years after their terminations (by Cook and Bralley),” said Robert M. “Hoppy” Elliot, attorney for the officers.

Lower federal courts have refused to dismiss the case, and each has been appealed by Cook and Bralley.

“The plaintiffs, each of whom has lost his career in law enforcement, are grateful that, at long last, their case can be heard by a jury,” Eliot said.