UPDATE: Suspended Officer Appeals Potential Firing - WRBL

UPDATE: Suspended Officer Appeals Potential Firing

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SAVANNAH, GA -

A Savannah-Chatham police detective officially filed an appeal against her suspension Tuesday.

Trina Mayes was suspended from the force Friday, and was scheduled to be fired tomorrow, Wednesday.

She is accused of several violations of police policy but Mayes' lawyer says his client is not being treated fairly.

"She didn't do anything wrong," said William Claiborne. "We believe the investigation that was conducted was cursory at best. We are disturbed by the fact they refused to provide paperwork to my client that would substantiate anything they say. We believe there is enough that directly contradicts the claims they are making."

"The real question is what has changed since this matter was investigated in 2007, cleared in 2008," explained William Claiborne, Mayes' Lawyer. "To my eye the only thing that's changed is that she's come forward and reported sexual harassment and this is clearly an act of retaliation and clearly aimed at telling the other woman within the department they need to keep their mouths shut."

The appeal will first be heard by Savannah's Chief of Police Juliette Tolbert, and then Mayes could take her case to the City Manager Stephanie Cutter.

No date has been set for either appeals hearing yet.

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She claimed to have sex with the Chief of Police to improve her position in the department.
 
A claim that in part led to Chief Willie Lovett retiring.

But as we first told you back in November - Trina Mayes had some skeletons in her own closet - involving a convicted felon who says he was her boyfriend.

Connections which apparently led the city to cut ties with the SCMPD detective.

Unsatisfactory performance and violation of city and department policy.

Those are the boxes checked on the Suspension notice of Detective Trina Mayes.

But it's the words after that may be the most damning.

Violation of the general standards of conduct, truthfulness, under oath or while on duty..

The third reason, associating with criminals, criminals like Rocky Sellers.

"You knew she was a police officer and she knew you were a felon?"
"Yeah," said Rocky Sellers. "
"That didn't matter to her?"
"No."
"Did you ever talk about it?"
"No"

Those were the words of Rocky Sellers to News 3 back in November.

Sellers has an extensive criminal record, and a history with Trina Mayes, dating back to 2006. A history he says covers two different police departments.

"She was working for Garden City, they got into complications, they she switched over to SPD. We was living together for some time," said Rocky.

Sellers says during that time Mayes, then an officer with Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, bailed him out of jail and in one case even played a part in his escape from capture.

"The police pull us over and for her safety I didn't want Police to see her with me and get caught so we played some duck goose and got away," said Sellers.

"You want to clarify that for us?"

"Outran the cops"

"What did she say after you ran?"

"Well she just looked at me and smiled and said, boy we just outran the police. And I said yep, you are the police," explained Sellers.

 After our investigation first aired, independent investigators asked us to connect them with Rocky.

As I've found out, his interview as well as Mayes' own words led them to make a decision to suspend and potentially fire her.

But what about the man who Mayes claims to have had a long standing affair with, now retired Chief Willie Lovett?

So far he isn't talking, and Savannah City Manager Stephanie Cutter made it clear to News 3 when this investigation first started, the city has no plans to talk to him.

"And if the allegations are unfounded in that case, do you feel there should be any apology from the city?" I asked the City Manager.

"He retired," responded Stephanie Cutter. "Why should there be an apology from the city for him making a decision to retire?"

News 3 learned Monday afternoon through her lawyer that Trina Mayes does plan to appeal the suspension.

William Claiborne says he has more information which could exonerate her.

If she didn't appeal - she would have been fired on Wednesday.

Of course Mayes is still one of 11 current and former officers who have said they intend to sue Savannah Police, Willie Lovett and the City of Savannah.

No lawsuits have been filed yet, those cases are still pending and even more claims could be coming soon.

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WSAV has learned that Savannah Chatham Metro Police Officer Trina Mayes has been suspended from the department and is set to be fired.  Mayes is the officer who claimed she had an affair with former SCMPD Chief Willie Lovett.  She filed a complaint against the Chief, the police department, and the city of Savannah accusing Lovett of sexual harassment.   

Savannah City spokesman Bret Bell says Mayes was given her notice of suspension prior to dismissal for violating the general standards of conduct.  The notice says that the action against Mayes was taken for unsatisfactory performance and violation of policy for not be truthful and having a conflict of interest for associating with criminals.  Bell says Mayes has the right to appeal but will be terminated if she doesn't win that appeal. 

Mayes' attorney William Claiborne sent WSAV a statement this evening calling the action a "stupid act of retaliation" that the city would regret.  He claims that Mayes had been cleared of wrongdoing during a 2007 investigation and that the only thing that has changed since then is that she reported sexual harassment in 2013.  "To fire a woman who had the strength to come forward is truly despicable," Claiborne says.

 

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