NMB Public Safety officer loses wrongful termination suit

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH (WMBF) – A 12-year veteran of the North Myrtle Beach Public Safety department who was forced to resigned amid controversy in 2009 has lost a wrongful termination suit, according to court documents.

Lt. Randy Fisher resigned on Dec. 1, 2009.

In May 2013, Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Rogers III recommended that Fisher's wrongful termination suit be dismissed.  In his decision, the judge stated that Fisher "failed to meet his burden of creating a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether his forced resignation was a result of retaliation for engaging in activity protected by Title VII."

On August 6, U.S. District Judge R. Bryan Harwell ordered a summary judgment in the wrongful termination suit and dismissed Fisher's case.

Fisher was forced to resign after Assistant City Manager Steve Thomas accused him of leaking confidential information about the April Wildfire to Mike Ragusa, a Barefoot Resort home owner critical of the city's wildfire response.

"Part of it was that they believed I gave Mike Ragusa confidential information," stated Fisher in a sit-down interview with WMBF News.

Fisher secretly recorded his conversations with Thomas. In one meeting, Thomas asks why Fisher has been calling Ragusa dozens of times, and the town manager doesn't seem to like the lieutenant's answer.

"You haven't admitted to anything that would be even close to a violation of confidentiality, and I think you're lying to me," said Thomas to Fisher, in a recorded conversation.

Fisher says he told Thomas he only was in touch with Ragusa as a friend.

"I was intrigued with what [Ragusa] was finding," explained Fisher. "But what he was finding anybody could find," he continued.

According to a North Myrtle Beach city spokesperson, Fisher began working for North Myrtle Beach on Oct. 27, 1997.

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