Pelham receives confirmation of lawsuit settlement

Published 11:11 am Monday, January 14, 2013

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham officials received confirmation of settlement on Jan. 11 for a lawsuit brought against the city in early 2012, said Pelham Mayor Gary Waters.

The settlement came less than a week after the Pelham City Council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Gary Waters to settle the lawsuit, which was brought against the city by a member of the Pelham Personnel Board and several city employees.

“It’s good to have that behind us now,” Waters said on Jan. 14.

Birmingham attorney Wayne Morse Jr., filed the lawsuit on behalf of Pelham city employees Carolyn Mitchell, Tammy Tankersley, Mary Gray, Judy Walters, Allison Miller, Connie Buse, Randy White, Justin Martin, Dale Bailey, James Coggeshall, David McCall, Cynthia McCall, Pelham Personnel Board member Jim Collins and former personnel board member James Burks.

The lawsuit named former Pelham Mayor Don Murphy, City Clerk and Finance Director Tom Seale, former Human Resources Director Jerry Nolen and former Marketing Manager Eva Shepherd as defendants.

The suit claimed former Pelham City Councilman Mike Dickens’ 2011 appointment as the city’s municipal court administrator was “invalid under Alabama law.” The suit also claimed, among other things, the city allegedly took city employee actions contrary to the city’s Personnel Board Act.

City officials previously said the plaintiffs named in the lawsuit agreed to sign a waiver dismissing the case in exchange for a cash settlement. City Council President Rick Hayes said the settlement cost the city “no more than $101,000 plus some payroll taxes.”