Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 11, 2014

Meigs loses another cop

Patti Dozier

THOMASVILLE — After Sarah Walls quit as a Meigs police officer Friday night, only the part-time acting chief remains.

Walls said she was assigned to work this weekend, but could not remain on the job after several encounters with Linda Harris, Meigs’ new mayor.

Walls said Harris has repeatedly approached her in a hostile and aggressive manner. She also cited discrimination and a hostile working environment.

The former officer was hired by the previous administration in October 2013 as a full-time Meigs police Department employee who was to divide her time between being a patrol officer and a police department clerk.

Walls said that each day she has reported for work since Harris became mayor, Harris found an issue with her — “and me only every day.”

Walls worked Monday through Friday of the past week.

Her resignation letter says Harris belittled Walls and questioned her credibility and competence in the presence of others.

Walls, 26, plans to pursue the matter and is seeking legal counsel.

Harris, who has been mayor for about 10 days, said she was responding to citizens’ complaints about the police car Walls was driving being somewhere it should not be. Harris would not say where the car allegedly was.

She said she has not been hostile toward Walls.

“I don’t work with her per se. … I don’t work hand-in-hand with her,” Harris said.

The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office responded to Meigs and the Walls/police matter Friday night. Harris said sheriff’s office personnel told her she handled the situation as they would have and that she did nothing wrong.

Edward “Blue” Rauls, the town’s only remaining police officer, is a part-time employee and acting chief.

Chris Luckey, Meigs police chief for the past two years, resigned in recent days, along with Drew Campbell, also an officer.

Two Meigs City Council members reportedly have resigned since Harris took office. Of the seven-member council, only Harris and three council members remain. One council seat was vacant before Harris took office.

Tommy Coleman, an Albany attorney and Meigs city attorney, said last week five council members constitute a quorum of the panel.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.