Nearly $1 Million Paid to Former Bolivar Police Officers in Settlement

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BOLIVAR, Mo.–Two former Bolivar Police Officers reached settlements in the amount of $880,000 after filing lawsuits in November of 2013. They say they were wrongfully demoted and terminated.

In 2012,  Bolivar Police Officers Jamie Sharp and Dusty Ross filed reports against former Police Chief John Walter for inappropriate sexual and age discrimination comments made against women. 

The former officers say it led to them eventually being demoted.

Also in 2012, Sharp and Ross filed a report against city administrator Darin Chappell.  They say he admitted that nine former city employees were actually fired for their ages and not budget reasons.

Ultimately, Ross and Sharp were terminated by the city of Bolivar and were told it was for coercion and intimidation against other officers.

Now the city has paid Sharp a total of about $515,000 with close to $221,000 of that going to his attorney.

In addition, the city paid Ross about $365,000 with close to $205,000 of that going to his attorney Jay Kirksey.

Kirksey says, “If Jamie and Dusty had their preference, I mean they were law enforcement officers at heart, they enjoyed very much protecting and doing their work on behalf of the city. If they had their preference, they would return, but since the acts of retaliation occurred, it’s almost impossible for them to get a job.” 

Since 2012, Bolivar has had to pay employees $1.3 million in settlement money related to discrimination lawsuits. 

KOLR10 News tried contacting Bolivar Mayor John Best for a comment, but never heard back. 

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