South Fulton County

Former South Fulton finance director sues city, claims termination was whistleblower retaliation

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — A former finance director for the City of South Fulton is suing the city saying she was fired in retaliation for her actions as a whistleblower.

According to a lawsuit filed in Fulton County Superior Court, Karen Slaton-Dixon says the City of South Fulton fired her because she reported a number of financial irregularities.

Slaton-Dixon worked for the city from Dec. 1, 2021 until her termination on June 12, 2023.

The lawsuit filed by Slaton-Dixon says that her employment record showed that her reported “performance was excellent, and she was not disciplined until she began engaging in protected activity under the Georgia Whistleblower Act.”

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More specifically, the lawsuit says that Slaton-Dixon was cooperating with an investigation into “financial improprieties at the City of South Fulton” conducted by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office beginning in March 2023.

Slaton-Dixon’s lawsuit says the city was aware she was cooperating with the DA’s Office investigation, and that she had shared concerns about financial impropriety in South Fulton with City Attorney Vincent Hyman.

In March 2023, Slaton-Dixon says the city made her fire an employee who reported procurement fraud at the city, “and did so only after she vehemently objected” to it.


Slaton-Dixon’s lawsuit also says she reported improperly paid invoices by certain city departments, which she said violated the laws, rules and regulations, and reported this to Tami Sadler-Jones, then the interim city manager, and Don Toms, the assistant city manager.

She also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation had contacted her about more than half a million dollars going missing from the City of South Fulton Police Department’s confiscated asset fund, prompting her to tell Sadler-Jones, Toms, Hyman and then-interim City Manager Sharon Subadan.

Slaton-Dixon said in her court filing that after reporting the missing $525,000 from the fund, she told Subadan about reported procurement fraud by the city.

The next month, Slaton-Dixon was fired by Subadan.

Due to her termination, Slaton-Dixon is suing the City of South Fulton alleging she was fired in retaliation for reporting financial fraud as a whistleblower and for cooperating with investigations into those claims of impropriety by county and federal officials.

Slaton-Dixon said the termination not only violated Georgia’s protections for whistleblowers but cost her wages, benefits and other remuneration as well as damaging her professional reputation and causing mental and emotional distress. In her lawsuit, Slaton-Dixon is requesting the city pay for attorney’s fees, saying the city has acted in bad faith and “been stubbornly litigious,” causing her to have unnecessary trouble and expense.

As a result, she’s requesting back pay and fringe benefits, as well as reinstatement or front pay, with prejudgment interest and compensatory damages to be decided by a jury, in addition to legal fees.

Channel 2 Action News has reached out to the City of South Fulton and the City of South Fulton Police Department for comment on the lawsuit, and allegations of missing funds, respectively.

In response to the lawsuit, the City of South Fulton’s Director of Public Affairs said “The City of South Fulton had justified reason for separation of employment.”

However, city officials would not comment on the allegations in Slaton-Dixon’s lawsuit, as far as the missing $525,000 from the police department’s confiscated asset fund. The South Fulton Public Affairs Director said they would not provide comment as it was part of ongoing litigation.

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