City attorney says former cop waived his right for unemployment benefits

Shawn Kennedy
Shawn Kennedy
Larry Wilder
Larry Wilder

By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

JEFFERSONVILLE, IN (WAVE) - Jeffersonville city leaders say a former police officer is not living up to his end of a deal after he signed an agreement to resign from his position. Since the deal was reached, Jeffersonville City Attorney Larry Wilder says Shawn Kennedy has filed for unemployment benefits.

"In the agreement, he says he waives any and all claims," Wilder said. "Part of our argument is that unemployment is a claim. He waived that right and we must defend ourselves."

After finding out Kennedy was trying to collect unemployment, Wilder filed a request for an emergency hearing on behalf of the city, saying Kennedy gave up that right to file for unemployment benefits.

We obtained the court documents Wilder filed, and that paperwork gives details about what may have happened surrounding this case. Details all parties involved had agreed not to disclose when they signed their agreement.

"It's the city's position the settlement and agreement is what it is," Wilder said. "And, our statements regarding the facts are certainly not going to go beyond the settlement agreement; however, the documents that have been presented for the purpose of providing understanding to the hearing officer speak for themselves."

According to the paperwork, there was a phone conversation between Kennedy and a suspected drug dealer that may have started the trouble between Kennedy and the City of Jeffersonville.

The documents indicate the FBI and the police department had been listening in on conversations with Jesse Bottoms, who, according to the paperwork, was under investigation. Then, a conversation between Bottoms, a suspected drug dealer, and Kennedy raised questions.

Kennedy: "Hello."

Bottoms: "hey, what's going on man?"

Kennedy: "Not much."

Bottoms: "Know who this is?"

Kennedy: "Is this Jesse?"

Bottoms: "Yeah, uh, just wanted to make sure you had my number."

Kennedy: "Yeah, what's up man?"

Bottoms: "Nothing, everything cool?"

Kennedy: "Yeah, everything's real cool man. Everything went exactly as she wanted it to go. Nobody knows anything..."

Bottoms: "Hey, uh a ...Ford...real dark tinted windows?"

Kennedy: "Yeah, uh, don't want to say anything on the phone man, yeah I got info. On that."

Bottoms: "Yeah, Ok, man, this is my number right?"

Kennedy: "Hey, where you at?"

Bottoms: "I'm down by Come Back Inn. I'm down in Jeff [Jeffersonville] right now."

Kennedy: "(Long pause) All right, yeah, you know that girl you were calling me about?"

Bottoms: "Yeah."

Kennedy: "I want to talk to you about her, man. I hooked up with her the other night man, she acted like a crazy [expletive, expletive] so, uh yeah, I just want to hook up and talk to you about it in person, if you know what I'm talking about."

Bottoms: "OK, alright."

Kennedy: "Yeah, I'll meet you. I'm doing a fantasy football draft real quick, but uh, if you have your phone on, I'll call you and meet up with you in a little bit."

Bottoms: "OK, alright, that'll work."

In the paperwork, Kennedy defended himself to officers, saying the call took him by surprise and that he was trying to change the topic and hang up. After FBI agents interviewed Kennedy, the documents said he would be placed on paid administrative leave and was asked to turn in his city-issued equipment, including his phone. It said Kennedy asked to get a number from his phone, but the paperwork claimed he instead deleted text messages to his wife and his girlfriend.

According the paperwork, the investigation revealed a detective found text messages with a 19-year-old girl that suggested he'd help her with tickets for sexual favors. According to the paperwork, Kennedy pleasured himself and had the teen watch, and at another time they had sex. The paperwork also states the teen said she asked him to stop, and was scared because he was a cop.

Wilder says Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan requested Kennedy be discharged from the department after what he called a 'discipline' was filed. Before a police merit board hearing, Wilder said an agreement to resign was reached by the parties involved with the understanding "no one would make public comments," according to the paperwork.

Wilder says Kennedy is now claiming he was fired without cause and was forced into the agreement.

"As part of his unemployment allegation, he alleged that the City of Jeffersonville fired him without cause and further alleged he entered into settlement and agreement by being forced by his attorney and the City's attorney and therefore he felt like he should be given unemployment benefits," Wilder explained.

"Clearly he was not forced to resign," Wilder said. "The resignation agreement and settlement agreement was reached after substantial amount of negotiation. I'm the City Attorney and I've not seen Shawn Kennedy for many, many months. So, clearly, I could not have forced him to sign a document."

The agreement did include a $1,500 payout for vacation and comp time. The city plans to introduce its evidence during a scheduled unemployment appeal hearing at 9 a.m. Feb. 10.

We placed a call to Kennedy's attorney, but it was not returned in time for this story.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.