register for email updates
Fired police chief claims indigence, asks DeKalb to pay to transcribe appeal
Terrell Bolton, formerly DeKalb County’s $162,000-a-year police chief, is claiming indigence as he tries to get his job back.
In court papers, Bolton says he can’t afford to pay a court reporter to transcribe the four-day hearing held last summer on his appeal of his dismissal. The county has provided him with audio recordings of the proceedings, but attorney William McKenney says “it is virtually impossible” to make reference to relevant testimony by citing the time sequence on the recordings.
DeKalb CEO Burrell Ellis fired Bolton in February for insubordination and misuse of county vehicles. Bolton assigned himself as many as seven county cars, including a $32,000 Range Rover and a $55,000 Mercedes Benz — both seized from drug dealers — that he kept at his home. An officer overseeing the motor fleet told investigators that Bolton ordered him to assign the two luxury cars to other cost centers so they could not be traced to the chief.
Hearing officer Phyllis Williams upheld Bolton’s dismissal in August. He filed suit in September seeking to overturn her decision.
Bolton also sued for reinstatement after he was fired as police chief of Dallas, Texas, in 2003. His complaints bounced around the courts for six years until the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear his case in March.