Another deputy to appeal firing today

Athens Banner-Herald/February 19, 2007
By Joe Johnson


A former Clarke County jailer and black supremacist cult member apparently will argue for his job back today, though an appeals officer earlier this month refused to reinstate another deputy fired at the same time.

Anthony Montgomery did not withdraw his appeal, even after former deputy and fellow sect member William York's appeal was denied Feb. 7, according to attorney Denny Galis, a personnel hearing officer for Athens-Clarke County.

Montgomery, a former corporal at the Clarke County jail, is expected to show up this morning to make his case in a hearing at the Department of Human Resources building on Satula Avenue, Galis said.

In November, Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards fired four deputies affiliated with the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors and allowed a fifth to resign after an internal affairs investigation concluded they undermined jail security and broke policy by recruiting inmates into their cult.

All four fired deputies appealed, and York was the first to have an appeals hearing. Montgomery's will be the second.

Despite a laundry list of policy violations, most of which concerned Nuwaubian-related activities while on the job, Galis upheld York's termination on two grounds: He tried to manipulate a polygraph test and couldn't be contacted while on paid administrative leave.

Galis would not comment on his decision last week, other than to say, "It is what it is."

But Galis may have avoided the deputy's connections with the Nuwaubians, instead focusing on other, non-religious complaints about his job performance, according to Athens attorney Penn Dodson, who specializes in labor and employment law.

"A lot of it might be (Galis) not wanting to get into the entanglements as to whether a policy itself might violate some kind of religious rights," Dodson said. "He may have thought, 'If there are a couple of reasons (for firing the deputies) that are legitimate with no potential grounding in religion, then let's just deal with those and not get bogged down in the quagmire of controversy on whether the policy implicated religious practices directly.' "

The Nuwaubians' leader, Dwight "Malachi" York, is serving a 135-year federal prison sentence after he was convicted of racketeering, money laundering, multiple counts of child molestation and other charges.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Nuwaubians as a "black separatist" hate group, and said Dwight York "claimed at various times to be a space alien and God in the flesh."

York had a mansion in Athens and his followers lived in a sprawling compound in Putnam County where, according to the SPLC, "York told his followers they were building a sovereign nation where they would be free from the influence of white 'devils.' "


Some of the former deputies used to be police officers in Macon, and quit their jobs there because city officials wouldn't investigate their claims that a conspiracy led to Dwight York's conviction.

At the Clarke County Jail, Nuwaubian deputies urged inmates to rebel against white deputies and ridiculed inmates for their Christian or Muslim beliefs, according to the internal investigation report.

The sheriff's investigation determined Montgomery broke a policy when he wrote letters to the Nuwaubian leader at a maximum security prison in Colorado, but the report also cited a host of policies and sheriff's codes of conduct that the deputies violated. Among other things, according to the internal investigation report, the deputies didn't keep personal activities separate from professional duties, weren't truthful, neglected duties, associated with criminals, harassed or discriminated against inmates and distributed literature to prisoners.

Though the appeal for his job was denied, William York can turn to civil court, but the burden to prove he was wrongfully fired is higher in court, Dodson said.

"The chances of a successful appeal (are) generally diminished at every level of appeal," Dodson said. "Generally, a lot of deference is given to lower courts, unless there's something glaringly wrong or the judge just misunderstood the law."

Two other former deputies, Rena Jennings and Bobby Dixon, are scheduled for administrative appeals hearings next month. The deputy who was allowed to resign in lieu of termination, Leon Adams, did not request a hearing.















  Copyright 2009 Nuwaubian Facts.  All Rights Reserved.   www.nuwaubianfacts.com