According to Heiberger, on March 2 he met with the police chief, who implied that if he resigned without appeal, then the chief would report to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Council that he had “voluntarily resigned” rather than “resigned in lieu of dismissal.” Heiberger testified that he and the police chief agreed that the documents relating to his proposed discharge would not be disclosed or revealed to prospective employers.
Officer Heiberger was counseled for not carrying assigned equipment or carrying equipment (weapon) in a condition that was a safety factor.”By October 1998, having reviewed Heiberger's personnel file and observed his “lack of willingness to address any problem,” Heiberger's immediate supervisor was concerned about “negligent retention” issues.
He and the assistant chief of police agreed that Heiberger's employment should be terminated.
After contacting the POST Council concerning Heiberger and reviewing Heiberger's personnel file at Norcross, Chamblee hired him in July 1999.
During his field training, Heiberger was cited for not searching the back seat of his patrol car after transporting prisoners and thus failing to discover a knife left there; failing to yield at an intersection until the instructor yelled and driving through a red light at another intersection (both incidents were due to his inattentiveness while driving); and improperly applying high-risk handcuffing procedures, although the correct procedure had previously been demonstrated to him.
The 1997 appraisal stated that Heiberger “fails to display knowledge of department policies, regulations, and procedures and violates same” and that he “fails to follow accepted safety procedures,” with remarks that he “has been issued various equipment in order to perform the duties assigned, but on several occasions has failed to carry the equipment (handcuffs, pepper spray).
These items, although not ․ needed daily should be carried and maintained.” Similarly, the 1998 appraisal stated that Heiberger “fails to follow accepted safety procedures,” with remarks that he “ would often place himself in a poor tactical position when dealing with suspects (i.e., turn his back toward suspect and/or would carry his weapon in the waist of his pants).
In 1996 and in 1998, Heiberger mishandled evidence and failed to submit investigative reports of assigned cases.
And in 1997, Heiberger left his assigned police vehicle unclean, inadequately fueled, and with two .45 caliber rounds of ammunition on the front seat.
On cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial court granted Norcross's motion and denied the other parties' motions. A04A0956, Govea and Gomez appeal the grant of summary judgment to Norcross and the denial of their motion for partial summary judgment against Norcross. A04A0957, Chamblee appeals the denial of its motion.