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Police, ex-officer ask court for filing extension

Three city police officers, two who remain working and one who resigned last year, asked a federal judge Tuesday for more time to prepare briefs alleging they faced retaliation when they approached supervisors on corruption in the rank-and-file of the department.

Patrolmen Dustin Reeder and Jody Miller and Donald Mayes, a former captain, seek the extension in U.S. Middle District Court before Judge Matthew W. Brann.

In their separate lawsuits, the officers and former officer are asking for an unopposed motion to extend time to file briefs.

The briefs are in opposition to motions by former and current city administration officials to get the case dismissed.

Mayes and Miller have filed against former Mayor Gabriel J. Campana et. al, while Reeder filed against Chief of Police Damon R. Hagan et al., court documents said.

The plaintiffs have alleged their constitutional rights to free speech were violated. They alleged harassment by the members of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 29.

In court documents, they claim to have been labeled as “whistleblowers” after reporting alleged corruption, waste and fraud to their supervisors and city officials.

More recently, Reeder was demoted earlier this year after a disciplinary hearing with City Council.

He was suspended without pay for a month. The nature of his infraction has remained a secret.

Reeder claimed he was disciplined unfairly and accused falsely of tampering with public property. Reeder said he found evidence of sexual activity that led to two officers being dismissed from the department, according to the suit.

Reeder named Mayor Derek Slaughter, council, the police union, Hagan and police Lt. Fred Miller IV in his suit claiming they engaged in “blatant” and “malicioous” retaliation.

Slaughter has declined to comment on the case.

Mayes’ complaint said that he was demoted by the former administration and accused Campana of using a method that alienated him from being able to apply or interview for the position of chief.

Miller said he was assigned to the patrol division after once being named chief of the department. He names Campana, Hagan, Miller IV and William E. Nichols Jr., former city finance director, in his suit.

Miller was assigned to the patrol division and as a school resource officer.

Campana denied the allegations claiming they will be shown as “baseless” and coming from “disgruntled” employees and ex-employees.

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