Former city employee sues Columbus for $2 million in damages - WRBL

Former city employee sues Columbus for $2 million in damages

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

Joann Flantroy has been battling city officials for the past few years, stemming from when she was fired from her position as deputy clerk of municipal court in 2008. Now she's added the city government as a whole to her black list.

In Dec. 2011 Sheriff John Darr, Marshal Greg Countryman and Municipal Court Clerk Vivian Bishop filed a restraining order against Flantroy, saying she was stalking Bishop and was a threat to their well-being. That motion was dropped just a couple months later, but Flantroy wants to clear her name.

Flantroy first filed for damages with her attorney Mark Shelnutt in May 2012, three months after the motion to get a restraining order banning her from entering the Government Center fell through.

A year and a half later, she's aiming at the Columbus Consolidated Government, which employs her three accusers.

City attorney Clifton Fay says, "That was a totally frivolous civil action, and now she wants a second bite at the apple."

Shelnutt says there's more to the story. He says the city officials have more against Flantroy than her being a disgruntled former employee.

"Something was about to come out about some of these people," says Shelnutt, "and so the best defense was an offense. I believe they filed that injunction so they could destroy her credibility and try to beat her to the punch."

Flantroy has turned the tables, however, and is asking for $2 million in compensation for her emotional distress.

Fay says, "I think it's strange to say these people caused her any kind of mental anguish. She knows them all very well after working with them over the course of several years, so we find that hard to believe."

What Shelnutt finds hard to believe is that the sheriff signed an affidavit saying Flantroy was "highly dangerous" and could "harm herself or others." "He signs an affidavit that says that she's a danger to the people in the whole Government Center," says Shelnutt of the sheriff. "Unbelievable."

Fay says the city will be working to dismiss the lawsuit he calls frivolous. Shelnutt says he and Flantroy are just waiting for it to play out in court.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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