Dan Hartzog, Jr. obtained a defense verdict on all claims in a federal lawsuit brought by a former Police Lieutenant who was terminated a few days after he was named the next Police Chief of a City.
After making the announcement, the City learned that he was under investigation by the SBI for paying for sex. After being informed of this by the district attorney, the City placed him on administrative leave. During that time, the local newspaper reported on the matter on a regular basis, and learned that the Police Lieutenant was under investigation by the SBI. The City Manager declined to comment on the specifics, but did confirm that he was under investigation. The plaintiff was ultimately terminated after several months of administrative leave.
Plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit asserting a number of claims, including violations of due process and equal protection, defamation, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the City and the former City Manager. A motion for judgment on the pleadings was filed, and following oral argument, the court dismissed all claims with the exception of a due process liberty interest claim and a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. Following discovery, a motion for summary judgment was filed which resulted in dismissal of the intentional infliction of emotional distress claim.
The case proceeded to trial on the due process liberty interest claim. Following a week-long trial, the trial judge granted a directed verdict as to the claims against the City Manager, and the jury returned with a full defense verdict as to the claims against the City.
The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer's or law firm's past results.