AUGUSTA, Ga, (WJBF) – Two men recently fired from the Richmond County Marshal’s Office filed a federal lawsuit against who would have been their new boss.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia in Augsuta comes one month after Mallory Jones and Troy Moses were hit with a letter from their new boss. Then Marshal-Elect Ramone Lamkin issued official notices to Jones and Moses in December, letting them know they were both relieved of their duties at the start of the year.
After Lamkin was sworn-in and officially started his duties as Marshal, he sat down with NewsChannel 6 and told us his plans to go above and beyond the typical duties of the office, such as traffic stops. Georgia Sheriff’s Association, however, deemed his office didn’t have authority to do that. Now, Lamkin and Augusta-Richmond County face a legal battle on the federal level.
The lawsuit states Jones, a 24-year-veteran with the Marshal’s Office, has been working as Captain earning $71,000/year. Moses had been employed eight years there and was recently promoted to Sergeant and bringing home $46,700. The men alleged Lamkin fired them both for supporting the re-election of former Marshal Steve Smith who Lamkin defeated in the general election.
While changes can be expected when leadership changes in public office, both Jones and Moses said their First Amendment rights were violated and the new Marshal had no legitimate reason for the terminations. The suit goes on to say the city allowed the firings to happen and now both Jones and Moses will be relegated to entry level jobs with the Sheriff’s Office and that’s a major pay cut.
We reached out to all parties named in the suit, but none agreed to talk. The city has not answered the lawsuit. It has three weeks to respond.Photojournalist: Gary Hipps