Two former Walton employees file suit against city, former mayor, and city clerk

By Trisha Scheyer
NKyTribune reporter

Two former employees of the city of Walton have officially filed a lawsuit against the city of Walton, former Mayor Gabriel Brown, and City Clerk Gevana Hicks.

The suit was filed on Thursday, June 27, and a press conference was held at the law offices of attorney Jamir Davis at 326 Third Street Thursday afternoon, with the goal for people to be “learning more about the ongoing efforts to combat misconduct in our community.”

The suit outlines a narrative that tells how Cindy Kirtley landed a job as an Assistant City Clerk at the city of Walton and how she built positive relationships with the other people who worked there.

She explained how she found some financial fraud done by Geneva Hicks, her supervisor, and after she reported it, she experienced harassment and a hostile work environment, which included unwarranted warnings and being locked out of important databases.

She says she was told she would not be terminated, but she was fired in July of 2023.

Her cousin, Tiecha Miles, who is the owner of TNM Cleaning Services, worked for the city from 2018, but when Cindy reported the fraud, Miles also experienced problems, and she said she was abruptly terminated in October of 2023 without proper notice or procedure.

The lawsuit is a whistleblower retaliation suit, and the women are asking for compensatory damages, lost wages, pain, and suffering.

They are hoping to set a precedent that says “fraud by city employees and retaliation will not be tolerated.”

Gabe Brown and Gevana Hicks could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

Walton City Council became aware of alleged misuse of city equipment and funds by former Mayor Gabriel Brown in early 2024. City council conducted an investigation into Brown’s actions, which included hiring a consultant to conduct a forensic audit and retaining special counsel. As a result of the investigation,council directed its special counsel to prepare charges against Brown. These charges would have led to a public hearing and potentially Brown’s removal from office.

Brown turned in his resignation during a special meeting of the City Council on May 7,
2024. His resignation became effective immediately because it did not include an effective date and was received during a council meeting. Council formally accepted Brown’s resignation at a special meeting on May 9.

At the May 7 meeting, the City Council tabled the proposed charges against Brown.

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