GREENSBORO, NC – The City of Greensboro has responded after a former police chief filed a second lawsuit against them, this time alleging slander.
Former Police Chief David Wray filed a complaint in Guilford County Superior Court against Mayor Nancy Vaughan and City Attorney Thomas Carruthers.
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This complaint comes after years of controversy between the city and Wray, after Greensboro decided not to pay his legal fees in a series of cases that arose while he was chief.
Wray believes slander stems from a comment attributed to the City Attorney in a June 11, 2016, News and Record article that stated,
“Four city managers have taken the position that David Wray’s actions were malicious.”
And a comment attributed to the Mayor in a June 20, 2016, News and Record article,
“The city ‘felt that there was maliciousness behind’ David Wray’s actions.”
Wray filed the complaint saying the Mayor and City Attorney, “have not repeated the statement, but have not retracted these statements.”
Both Carruthers and Mayor Vaughan deny the allegations and say they weren't associated with the City during Wray’s tenure.
Carruthers says he emailed a clarifying comment to City Council on June 13, 2016, with regard to his and the Mayor’s use of the word “malicious” and stated,
“This was a shorthand reference to standards contained in the 1980 City of Greensboro ‘Resolution Relative to Disposition of Claims and Judgments Sought or Entered Against City Officers or Employees.’ It is the policy of the City of Greensboro to provide for the defense of its officers and employees unless it is determined that an officer or employee ‘(1) acted or failed to act because of actual fraud, corruption or actual malice, or (2) acted or failed to act in a wanton or oppressive manner.’ The City Manager makes this determination. It has been, and still is, the position of the City that former Chief Wray’s actions fell within this exclusion.”
The City Attorney reaffirmed his clarifications in a city council meeting in March of 2017.
“And I do want to reaffirm the longstanding position of the City - that Council has been advised on since 2007 - that it is the position of the City of Greensboro that former Chief Wray acted outside of the standards appropriate to allow his legal bills to be paid.”
Law firm Mullins Duncan Harrell & Russell PLLC will defend this suit, according to Carruthers. This is the same firm that has been defending the City in other litigation brought by David Wray.