Wiregrass Newsroom: Dothan police officer files complaint

RaeMonica Carney looks over the formal grievance she filed against Dothan City Attorney, Len White, and Dothan Police Chief, John Powell
RaeMonica Carney looks over the formal grievance she filed against Dothan City Attorney, Len White, and Dothan Police Chief, John Powell

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) - Dothan city officials are asking the state to take over an investigation involving a complaint from a Dothan police officer.

RaeMonica Carney, a Dothan police officer, is filing the complaint against the City Attorney and the Dothan Police Chief after she says they treated her unprofessionally in a meeting.

"I didn't know if I was going to be a target of physical violence," says Carney.

Carney says she didn't know what to expect in the meeting with City Attorney, Len White and Dothan Police Chief, John Powell, weeks ago.

"I was really totally scared," she says.

In a formal grievance, Carney accuses the two of coercion and intimidation when asked questions pertaining to a wrongful death lawsuit against the city.

"He [White] was trying to lock me into an incorrect statement."

It all stems from an incident back in 2007 when police responded to a crash involving a woman they tested for drunk driving.

The woman was eventually let go when police thought she was ok to drive.  But Carney didn't think so.

Police say just a little while later the woman was involved in a wreck leaving one man dead.

RaeMonica says White pressured her to answer questions she couldn't remember about the incident without looking at the incident report.

"He was yelling at me, [he had a] very smug look on his face, pointing his finger at me, coming across the conference room table at me," says Carney.

RaeMonica says the District Attorney, Doug Valeska, told her the matter should be taken out of the Dothan Police Department and investigated by another agency.

RaeMonica went to the Houston County Sheriff's Department.

But just this week Dothan City Manager Mike West sent a letter to Attorney General Troy King asking him to investigate the matter.  The letter said:

"Due to Sheriff Andy Hughes' acquaintance with all parties involved, the City of Dothan respectfully requests that your office take precedence over this matter and cease the investigation by the Houston County Sheriff's Office. Sheriff Andy Hughes is a former City of Dothan Police Department employee. During a portion of this time, Sheriff Hughes was a Sergeant under the command of Chief Powell and a superior to the complainant."

Officials with the Attorney General's office say they did receive the letter from West.  They will decide whether to investigate the matter this week.

RaeMonica says she thinks the Sheriff's department will conduct an adequate investigation if it is left up to them. She just wants a few things.

"I want to be treated fairly. I want to be treated as any other officer would...with respect."

Members of the Dothan Police Department, Houston County Sheriff's Department, City Manager, and City Attorney's office either didn't return phone calls or refused to comment because the situation is still under investigation.

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