Woman settles lawsuit against Smyrna
by Noreen Cochran
October 12, 2012 12:54 AM | 3258 views | 16 16 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
SMYRNA — Smyrna resident Mary Kirkendoll won a victory this week when the city of Smyrna’s insurer, Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency, settled her federal lawsuit against the city.

City Administrator Eric Taylor said the settlement was for $85,000, but he did not have other details.

“It wasn’t our settlement. It was decided by our insurance company,” he said. “We weren’t involved in it at all. They took over when the lawsuit happened.”

Kirkendoll filed a federal lawsuit after being arrested on a disorderly conduct charge and detained for two hours in the Smyrna Jail on April 21, 2009, following a town hall meeting at the city’s community center, during which she shouted a profanity.

The agenda included Belmont Hills and Jonquil plazas, two underutilized properties on Atlanta Road with little hope for construction due to the economy.

Kirkendoll spoke to the Journal that night after a presentation by Economic Development Coordinator Andrea Hall.

“Smyrna doesn’t want to be progressive. All of these pictures and all of this stuff are B.S.,” she said at the time.

The federal lawsuit alleged violation of her free speech rights, false arrest and false imprisonment.

Taylor said he didn’t know which court or judge had jurisdiction over the lawsuit.

“I don’t know if it even got that far,” he said. “The city attorney is handling that. He is the liaison with the insurance company.”

City attorney Scott Cochran said his

involvement was minimal.

“I know that all of the defendants named were dismissed,” he said. “At the end of the day, only the arresting officer, Durrell Williams, remained.”

The settlement was not an admission of guilt on the part of the defendant, Cochran said.

“The settlement says the city denies any wrongdoing. It was for reasons unrelated to the merits of the case,” he said. “For whatever reason, the insurance company chose to settle the case and move on.”

Cochran said he was not involved in the decision-making process.

“It was a decision the insurance company made for financial reasons. We didn’t agree or disagree with it,” he said. “It’s like if you hit a deer. The insurance company makes a decision without you.”

A cost-benefit analysis was the most likely scenario, Cochran said.

“They factored in what they would spend to try the case versus settling it. Sometimes you can spend less to settle it than you can to try it and win,” he said.

Kirkendoll was not available by press time.

Mayor Max Bacon could not be reached for comment.
Comments
(16)
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smyrna resident4now
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May 07, 2014
my wife and i are gearing up for a lawsuit against this corrupt city and the officers that are ‘sworn to protect and serve’... NOT ‘harass and arrest’..... I’m a 39 yr old man and a VP of a major manufacturing company, Head of Worldwide sales/mktg and my wife- lets just say she is a doctor and BOTH of her parents are to....

NEVER been in ANY trouble EVER until the week we moved to this town..... The cops drive by our house daily, pull us over weekly for NOTHING-we have started video taping each incident.

LOOOONG story short, do you or anyone else who reads this have any advice (besides moving-which we are prepparing to do at this time) that could help us?

thanks,

Harassed Smyrna Ga Resident...

mk-smyrna a rackett
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October 15, 2012
Bentley, thanks, and I applaud you for standing up against this dishonest, crony Smyrna government!

They have NO RIGHT to tell you to paint your business w/ a beige color palate!

On South Cobb Drive?? Got to be a JOKE!!

Popeyes and Captain D's.

Gold buy shops and smoke shoppes!

Run down neighborhoods and outdated roadways!

Do the folks in Smyrna even understand whats happening out here??

Anyone that stands up and expects freedom, they will try to SILENCE and run them out of town!

I was in the bank in midtown several weeks ago and the subject of Smyrna came up. Out of the blue , a gentleman shook his head and said he was harassed so bad 15 years ago, by city code enforcement(he thought it was because he was gay), that he moved and said he would never step foot back in this town!

... but listen, it's the citizens of Smyrna that are being screwed. The mayor thinks he OWNS this town! 30 years in office, and you people don't think there's palm greasing??

20 million for a little sidewalk and median!

10 million for a rundown apt, to award a company to tear down & build a road!

15 million for Hickory Lakes- a contract to tear down & it just sits!

Empty Jonquil

Empty Belmont!

Empty Concord Road!

Get yourself a GOOD attorney, Bentley,.. you have a GREAT case!

I reccomend Cynthia Counts, Counts Law Group, Colony Square, Atl.

Bentley Brandon
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October 14, 2012
IS IT ABOUT COLOR OR COLORS?

85k isn't nothing compare to her rights as a america citizen! When it hits your doorstep you will be more then happy so stand up for your God given right's!

I'm dealing with the same issue (PAINT) on my small business building!!!!!

This CarWash on South Cobb Dr. has been in Smyrna for 15 years, I started my first job here!

and this isnt right as much harrassment I have face since McNabb was in office!

Because I wont shut up and follow RULES!

WELL I AM AS A TAX PAYER A U.S CITIZEN MY 1ST ADMENDMENT RIGHTS!

OCT 19, 2012

1PM

TRIAL DATE

FOR PAINT VOILATION!

(WASTE OF TAX PAYERS DOLLARS)
Tony Cain
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October 14, 2012
We can all thank Mary for standing up to what can laughingly be called "public servants."

These folks have been feeling and exercising their power for too long.

What Mary showed us is that WE THE PEOPLE still have the power... IF WE WILL EXERCISE IT!

Good for Mary! And good for the rest of us! Maybe the "public servants" will think twice before they mess with another citizen.

P.S.- I wonder if Mary's attorney might demand some more money since the city attorney, after the settlement found fit to basically say it is cheaper to settle than go to court? He is still claiming the city was in the right. Better be careful, he might get a chance to prove it in court of law before Mary's peers.
Joyce M
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October 14, 2012
Is she moving? Is she moving?

That would be worth every single dime.
mary kirkendoll
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October 13, 2012
Corruption spreads like a cancer, when good men, do nothing.

The corrupt city condones their mouthpieces to follow me around on any website , and try to discredit me. They make chidish personal attacks, because they really have no good argument about how the city of Smyrna continues to waste taxpayer money, building up the mayors city hall KINGDOM, while more and more homes, neighborhoods and shopping centers lose value and become rundown and undesireable.

Keep it up, Sean, your comments come off as very juvenile and uneducated as you are helping the demise of your own city!
mary kirkendoll
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October 12, 2012
The city spin machine is out!

Of course the city didn't want to go to trial and decided to settle. Every last one of the city officials would have had to perjure themselves under oath, if they were to stick to their silly story!

The mayor included!

The want to silence me, pure and simple!

The Smyrna citizens are unwilling to question government & will continue to be bamboozled .

No wonder the city has wasted 20 million dollars for a road median for a several block area. Because they CAN!

And recently purchased 120 streetlights for $4500 to $6800 apiece, just to give the city a circus like atmosphere. Thats $700,000 in unnecessary streetlights for city hall area, while South Cobb, Windy Hill and Concord remain rundown and poor!

MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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October 13, 2012
@Ms.Kirkendoll: Why don't you, along with your vulgar language hop on a piece of fat and slide of into the sunset.
anonymous
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October 12, 2012
MK is the unhappiest, most bitter and complaining person I have ever seen. Good for her. Now she can take her $85,000 and move somewhere that will stop her constant whining and complaining. Good riddance.
Pat H
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October 12, 2012
The arrest was based on her message - follow the law, stop catering to traitor developers and contractors who hire illegal aliens, and address the destruction of not only our neighborhoods, schools and hospitals by illegal aliens but also our culture.

We cannot afford to subsidize the poor and illiterate illegal population who have discovered the profitable baby bonanza this side of the border. Sales taxes paid by this population pale in comparison to federal and state income, social security, and medicare taxes paid by citizens. Illegals have also discovered the Earned Income Tax Credit, and are receiving this bonus for criminal behavior at our expense.

The Bacon(s) have driven Smyrna into the ground with cronyism, corruption and downright mismanagement. Max Bacon contributed to the TSPLOST debacle list - enough said. Schools are far below Cobb's average and businesses stupid enough to invest there have quickly gone bust.

To arrest someone for something that should have been settled with just an admonition is ridiculous. Too bad that cop wasn't on duty when I got hit by an illegal without a license and was not charged with leaving the scene even though he ran away. Of course, the cop who did not charge him with a felony instead of just a misdemeanor of not having a license and following too close was Hispanic. Just saying.
Just Wait
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October 12, 2012
Just so you will know, in Georgia, driving without a license and following too close ARE misdemeanors and not felonies. Police officers cannot change the law to suit your desires.
@Just wait
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October 12, 2012
I know that the offenses were misdemeanors. However, he also LEFT THE SCENE. The cop decided not to charge him for that.

The coward not only left the scene, but left his car and ran away like the criminal he is. He also left his wife and baby in the car - 17 years old and already had a 2 year old baby. Do the math.
Eric Bumtickler
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October 13, 2012
One cannot receive the Earned Income Tax Credit without a VALID VERIFIABLE Social Security number. While there is a small amount of fraud and abuse of the EITC, it is certainly because of undocumented workers. Chill out, Dude, and get your facts straight before you post.
Good bye
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October 13, 2012
Pat, we will give you and Mary a great send off party if you both leave. You must be the most two miserable humans around. And when you go, take Renee Nichols with you. Cobb will be a much better place without you folks.
@Good Bye
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October 13, 2012
Address the content of my post and come up with a reply that disputes my statement. It was not "whining". You are doing the whining because you don't like the content of the message.

Typical liberal thinking - attack the messenger when you have no logic to attack the message. No one is buying this tactic.

So, what about not charging an illegal with leaving the scene of the accident? This happened in the City of Marietta, not unincorporated Cobb, and the cop issuing the misdemeanors was also Hispanic. Still have the paperwork in case you want to see it.

They searched and found him hiding in the bushes. I imagine if this were a citizen, there would have been charges for leaving the scene.
afghan vet in cobb
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October 12, 2012
I know that most businesses and governments will settle a case based on cost, not guilt. I wonder what was the out come of the criminal charge agaist her that resulted in her arrest MDJ? The only thing I got from this is once again the officer who had to make a on the spot decision was left hanging by his employer, who I'm sure quickly made sure they were dismissed from the law suit. Reminds me of all those higher ups sitting safely back at a base while we were outside the wire making the same kind of life or death quick decisions, then Monday morning Q-backing us. They are the first to throw you under the bus if it becomes political instead of standing up for their people. Just ask the 50 or so Americans shot in the back this year by so called allies.
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