Officer Jack back on the job
Aug. 31, 2003
It remains to be seen whether the travails of Officer Rita Jack of the Meridian Police Department are really over, but at least she is back on the job so ordered by Circuit Judge Robert Bailey in a wise and prudent decision.
Jack was fired by MPD in September 2001 after some shenanigans in the handling of cash at the police department's front desk. In our opinion, she was fired without cause and Judge Bailey now is the fourth official source to find a total lack of evidence against her for the offense the city cited. The state auditor, a Lauderdale County grand jury and the Meridian Civil Service Commission felt the same way.
That the city of Meridian would spend untold thousands of dollars in legal fees and put her through an unjustified emotional wringer is simply an abomination. While there is some consolation with Judge Bailey's order that she be paid in full for back wages over two years, her treatment is a stain on the city's personnel administration.
Hopefully, she can now get fully re-trained and re-certified in whatever areas of professional law enforcement she may have lost during her dismissal, and the city should pay every penny of the costs. Read that, Meridian taxpayers will pay the costs because of the city's misguided actions in her case.