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Albany officials likely to appeal Pait payout

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany city officials are currently working to meet a deadline issued by a Dougherty County court to tabulate exactly how much back pay it owes to a former Albany firefighter.

Joseph Pait was fired by then-Albany Fire Chief James Arrowwood one week after accepting a plea agreement in Lee County in which he agreed to plead guilty to criminal trespass and theft charges in exchange for first-offender status.

Pait appealed the decision to Janice Allen-Jackson, who was the Albany city manager at the time. Allen-Jackson upheld Arrowwood’s termination, prompting Pait to sue for wrongful termination.

In January 2010, Chief Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette ruled that Pait should be reinstated to the fire department pending his recertification as a firefighter by the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council, which he got in the latter part of 2011.

On April 27, Lockette issued an order giving the city until May 10 to give the court its best guess as to the amount Pait is owed in back pay between the time he was terminated in 2003 and the time he was reinstated in January 2010.

While city officials continue to work on the figure, some privy to the discussions said that the total is in the six-figure range and could top $400,000.

Lockette has placed a gag order on the case, which prevents city officials from speaking directly on the matter. A letter written in 2004 by Allen-Jackson shows the reasoning for Pait’s termination.

“I do not contest that you were released and given probation under the auspices of First Offender Treatment; however, this does not negate the fact that you entered a guilty plea for the charges brought against you,” Jackson wrote. “Furthermore, I feel that your continued employment with the city of Albany would jeopardize the high standard of trust our community bestows upon its employees.”

The city is being represented by the attorney for what was known as the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency, who held the city’s risk management portfolio at the time of the Pait’s termination, while Pait is being represented by local attorney Maurice King.

When the two parties agree on the amount of back pay owed Pait, Lockette will then sign the final order on the case, at which time the city will likely file an appeal.

Comments

bubbavet 1 year, 11 months ago

I bet if he was black it would be a whole new ball game. A lot of innocent people plead on first offender because of the thought of going to jail for a longer time.

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spookj6 1 year, 11 months ago

Wow, Is everything in this city black vs white, I thought this is suppose to be equal oppurtunity. I just retired from the military and came back to Albany and have nerve seen such divisiveness in my life. I sure hope vet at the end of your name does not mean you served in the military.

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whattheheck 1 year, 11 months ago

Yep, that seems to be the way these days.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 11 months ago

Get your head out of the sand and wake up from under the rock you have been under.

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bubbavet 1 year, 11 months ago

USMC You must have moved here yesterday because it should not take over 24 hours if you have any smarts at all to figure it out unless you are one of them.

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LGadson 1 year, 11 months ago

One of who? Black or soldier? You racist NIMROD!!!!!!!

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FlunkyMonkey 1 year, 11 months ago

Run...run as fast as you can...get out of Albany NOW...it will suck your brain and rob you of your common sense!!

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justme 1 year, 11 months ago

Albany, Georgia, most of it's populace are of a 1940/50's mentality. Black vs White, Us against Them, you get the picture. Today people of the area have attempted to educate themselves, so they now speak their mind openly,however as politicaly correct as possible and with the internet they express themselves to a point of embarresment. If you read the squawk box you will get a good grip on Albany mentality.

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reb_arty1863 1 year, 11 months ago

This man will be in citizens homes in fire situations. He has plead guilty to being a thief. Keep him out of mine. I have insuranse.

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bubbavet 1 year, 11 months ago

I worked with him and I would trust my life with him. You have no idea about the situation.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 11 months ago

Look at the white man who got fired from the airport for supposedly stealing trash from construction site that said he could have it. Bet if he had been black, they would have slapped him on the arm with a wet noodle.

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LGadson 1 year, 11 months ago

I beg to differ. NEVER experienced that in Albany.

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benh1936 1 year, 11 months ago

I agree, the case at the airport sure appeared to be a case of reverse discrimination if I ever saw one. How can having the permission to take something be called theft? The city owes that man big time.

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LuLu 1 year, 11 months ago

He's being represented by.... Maurice King?? Surely he could have done better than that. And, I don't recall ever hearing of Mr. King representing a white person before. And spookj6, if you've just come back here after some time away, then sit back, grab a drink and prop your feet up because you have an awful lot to catch up on.

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clifford 1 year, 11 months ago

pay the man his bread and quit crying.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 11 months ago

The City of Albany has the worst legal advisors in the State.

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benh1936 1 year, 11 months ago

I have never heard what race this Pait fellow is anyway.

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ittibittime 1 year, 11 months ago

I know the situation and I do not want him working for me(a property owner and taxing paying citizen of Albany and Dougherty County) as a firefighter...I don't trust him...never have...never will....

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