The Law Offices of David Ates & the Southern Legal Resource Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of Sgt Silvia Cotriss against the City of Roswell, Chief of Police Rusty Grant and City Administrator in their official & individual capacities.
The (almost) 20 year police veteran was fired in July 2016 following an internal investigation that found her conduct unbecoming in displaying a Confederate flag displayed in her front yard in a neighboring town,
"I did absolutely nothing improper in displaying the US & Confederate flags on my own property, and being fired by Roswell PD violates my First Amendment rights." said Sgt Cotriss.
The complainant claimed to have seen the Confederate flag on a pole under the US flag in the front yard of Cotriss' residence in Woodstock, GA with a Roswell PD vehicle in the driveway. "Not possible!" counters Cotriss, "as the vehicle had been returned to the Roswell PD motor pool well before the complainant saw the flags in my yard"
After a brief internal investigation Sgt Cotriss was terminated from her employment just short of her achieving 20 years employment.
"This sort of high handed politically correct firing by the City of Roswell sets a horrible precedent and endangers the employment and constitutional rights of government employers across the State of Georgia, " said David Ates, lead attorney for Sgt Cotriss. "Which is why prosecution of this lawsuit must go forward!" added co-counsel Kirk D. Lyons
The lawsuit, 1:16-cv-04589-MHC, filed in the Atlanta Division of the Northern District of Georgia seeks actual damages and punitive damages from the individual defendants.