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Attorney for Fired LRPD Officer: My Client is Not a Liar

A former officer is trying to get her job back after the department fired her.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A former Little Rock Police officer is trying to get her job back after the department fired her for a handful of reason's including working so many hours it netted her more than $100k.

There were plenty of witnesses to pull from Thursday (7/25) morning as dozens of Little Rock Police Department (LRPD) employees filled the Civil Service Commission board room in City Hall.

According to reports, Natasha Sims collected enough overtime hours as an officer to boost her pay to $128,000.

A main point of defense, her attorney, Luther Suttor, pointed out that other officers have done some of the same things. For example: leaving work early but still getting paid for it. He says those officers haven't been fired.

He questioned operations within LRPD as a whole.

"Well this Chief of Police has allowed police officers to take off work and be paid for it without it being charged against their comp time," Suttor said while pointing to Chief Stuart Thomas. "This city has too little resources to let all this happen."

Suttor claims Sims was terminated for something commonly practiced within the department. He called the term "cuffing." Three LRPD employee witnesses brought to the stand all confirmed "cuffing" happens but not regularly.

It didn't take long however, for Suttor to bring the entire hearing to a halt.

In the middle of the hearing Thursday morning, Suttor notified the Commission and everyone present that he filed a complaint motion with an outside Circuit Judge. He says he asked to stop the hearing because of what he calls unconstitutional actions by the Civil Service, the City and the Chief.

The attorney representing LRPD, Khayyam Eddings, doesn't agree with the motion or their defense saying the focus needs to be Sims and only Sims.

Eddings said, "The sole purpose of our being here is to determine whether or not she engaged in the conduct that's listed in her letter of termination."

According to her termination letter the violations in question include exceeding the limited hours of work allowed, making untruthful statements during the internal affairs investigation and leaving work without supervisor approval and in some instances receiving pay for it.

The hearing proceeded until lunch but before they could continue afterwards, Chairman James Hudson adjourned the hearing until the Circuit Judge could review the motion and make a decision.

Update: Sixth Judicial Circuit Judge Collins Kilgore denied Suttor's motion. The hearing will resume Friday (7/26) morning at 8 a.m.
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