State News

Fired Durham police officer sues city

Posted November 1, 2011

— A Durham police officer fired during an investigation of an overtime pay scandal has sued the city, seeking restoration to her job.

Alesha Robinson-Taylor's federal lawsuit contends she was fired in 2009 because of gender discrimination. City Manager Tom Bonfield and Police Chief Jose Lopez also are defendants in the suit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

Robinson-Taylor was fired after senior administrators learned she had collected more than $62,000 in overtime in about a year. That was more than double her annual salary as head of the police department's "secondary employment" program, in which she helped assign officers to off-duty jobs.

The suit alleges that Lopez and other police department officials knew about the excessive overtime and never warned her to cut back. Attorney Michael Kornbluth says Robinson-Taylor was doing two jobs because she also was the department's towing inspector.

The department has suspended male officers or allowed them to resign after being charged with drunken driving, drug distribution, extortion and kidnapping, according to the lawsuit. Robinson-Taylor, meanwhile, was fired even though a city audit found that the department approved her overtime and never tried to find ways to reduce it, the suit states.

City attorney Kim Grantham says officials had sufficient evidence to fire Robinson-Taylor.

The lawsuit also claims that that the police department violated labor laws by putting Robinson-Taylor on administrative leave for two weeks before she was fired and not paying her for that time.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 1, 2011

    @boneymaroney13, are you actually complaining that you are no longer able to discriminate against people based on their race, sexual orentation, gender, nationality card and religion?


    So, yes, it appears that society does need to thank "liberals" for disallowing you to do so. Wow...I keep forgetting that people like you exist. Thanks for the refresher. I'll continue to vigilant in stopping bigotry from people like you.

  • whatusay Nov 1, 2011

    in2horses says, "Why is she waiting almost 3 years to file a suite?? Unemployment running out??"

    Probably statute of limitations. Also a lawyer probably took her case on the condition if she loses the lawyer gets nothing. I am quiet sure the lawyer found her, not the other way around.

  • Here2tellya Nov 1, 2011

    she should just go to work for the granville co sheriff dept. I hear they're practically giving money away.

  • boneymaroney13 Nov 1, 2011

    dollibug - what a completely incompetant statement for a person to make! You put all the LEO's in the same jail with that crook just because they wear a uniform? They're not all crooks. Just like not everyone on makes incompetant statements just because you do.

  • gdelliott43 Nov 1, 2011

    Sleeping with the assistant chief has it's advantages, till you both get caught!

  • mfarmer1 Nov 1, 2011

    Not sure what evidence they had on her but at face value to me it does not look like it is her fault for the amount of hours.

    For a few years I worked 160 to 180 hours every two weeks, my boss came to me and complained. I told him I was fine with working 40 hours a week, they never cut my hours and I continued to work 160+ hours every two weeks.

    If your boss has you working and does not cut your hours what are you to do?

  • Ambygirl Nov 1, 2011

    mikelj80-- Who does the time cards then?? Every place I have ever worked, a manager/supervisor is the one who actually processes the time cards and approves them. Someone in management handled these as well.

  • early exit Roy Nov 1, 2011

    She has already screwed the city once and now she is trying it again. If she loses she should have to pay for the attorney's fees. That will stop some of these lawsuits.

  • mikelj80 Nov 1, 2011

    do you think management goes through each employee's time card?

  • wildcat Nov 1, 2011

    She is just looking for more money. Drop the lawsuit and find another job.