03-12-2007, 08:13 PM #1
Tenn. Owed $185; Late Fees Make It $12K
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Those late fees can get you. For Tennessee, in the case of a state trooper who was owed $185, they total about $12,000.
A Davidson County chancellor issued a ruling Thursday that ordered the payment to Sgt. James Chaney, according to the trooper's lawyer, Brock Parks.
The case dates to 2004, when the Tennessee Highway Patrol suspended Chaney for shooting out the rear tires of a car chased by U.S. marshals. When Chaney appealed the suspension, an administrative law judge ruled on April 6 that the suspension was improper and Chaney should be reimbursed one day's pay, or $185.
The state had 30 days to make the payment and after that faced a penalty of $185 for each day it was late in reimbursing Chaney.
"They didn't pay, they didn't pay, they didn't pay," Parks said. "Finally in August they paid him for one day."
Chaney and Parks then persuaded the judge to assess penalties against the state.
A spokesman for the Safety Department, which oversees the THP, said the problem was unusual but steps are being taken to make sure it isn't repeated.
"This was an order that was issued from the judge that somehow we didn't receive," spokesman Mike Browning said. "As to why we didn't receive it, I couldn't say."
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