Former campus police officers claim retaliation after filing complaint against GGC

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Two former campus police officers at Georgia Gwinnett College claimed they suffered retaliation after they filed a discrimination complaint against the school.
 

The state dismissed their complaint.
 
But, their attorney believes the bigger issue now is how the officers were allegedly treated after filing that complaint. One of those officers believes it cost him his job.
 
Corey Pendley and Jeremy Dewberry say their work environment at Georgia Gwinnett College changed after they complained.
 
"Feeling like I was being locked out of things, feeling people were watching me reporting different things,” Dewberry told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.
 
"There was an open-door policy that was suddenly closed,” Pendley said.
 
In December, the two former campus police officers, along with a third officer still on the job, filed discrimination complaints with the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity.
 
They claimed a lesser-qualified, minority candidate received a promotion over them.
 
Pendley says the department suddenly wanted him to work an overnight shift.
 
"They actually made up a shift,” he said.
 
He eventually quit. Dewberry stayed on and claims things got worse.
 
He said he was subjected to so-called frivolous write-ups, like when his family visited campus and he walked the family dog.
 
"The write-up stated that me being in uniform and having a big black dog on a leash…insinuated that I was conducting narcotics investigations with the use of a canine,” Dewberry said.
 
The department labeled him a "safety threat," claiming he threatened his captain.
 
Dewberry denies making any type of threat. After administrative action, GGC fired Dewberry in March.
 
"They have taken such drastic actions against me that nobody else will dare to stand up and say anything,” Dewberry said.
 
Employment attorney Jason Mitchell says he has contacted GGC, but hasn't received a response.
 
"Those laws exist to protect people who honestly and in good faith believe that they are being the victims of discrimination,” Mitchell told Kavanaugh.
 
Kavanaugh also reached out to GGC. They sent a statement saying, "Georgia Gwinnett College is unable to comment on private personnel matters or on pending litigation."
 
"They took away my job, my profession, my reputation,” Dewberry said.
 
Dewberry and his attorney say they are not ruling out a lawsuit.
 
Channel 2 Action News confirmed the Georgia Commission on Equal Opportunity has received the complaints. They have dismissed the discrimination complaints.
 
They have 90 days to investigate the complaint of retaliation.