Following two years of litigation, the city of Collegedale and four former police officers have reached a settlement of $412,500, according to an article published by The Chattanoogan.
The four former police officers said they were coerced to step down from their positions after objecting to what they described as a ticket quota system, the news organization reported.
In July 2019, Officer Robert Bedell filed a lawsuit against the city of Collegedale, according to local media reports. About three months later, three additional officers — David Holloway, David Schilling and Kolby Duckett — also filed a lawsuit against the city, the police chief and the city manager.
On September 20, 2021, the city and the officers made public their mutual settlement for the sum of $412,000 and no admission of fault, as reported in The Chattanoogan.
As part of the agreement, a statement was inserted in all the personnel files stating that the allegations accusing the city and police department were false claims, according to the news report.
“The settlement reflects that the claims were disputed and there was no admission of fault or liability,” said attorney Janie Parks Varnell, who filed the suit against the city, according to the Chattanoogan. “As a part of the settlement, the city and its insurer have agreed to pay the officers a total sum of $412,500. The city also agrees to provide a neutral reference for any potential employers.”
“The plaintiffs are very pleased with this resolution,” Varnell continued in the news article. “They are happy to put this behind them and move on with their careers.”
Collegedale City Attorney Sam Elliot was quoted in the article, saying: “Although the city maintains its actions were lawful, this settlement will allow Collegedale to remove the distraction of the lawsuit so that it can focus on the needs of its citizens.”