CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A federal judge has ruled the City of Charlotte owes back pay to an officer the police department unfairly demoted.
However, WBTV has learned the decision may cover a number of officers in her same pay grade.
The case involved one CMPD sergeant, but the settlement may impact others who hold similar rank.
Lou Lesesne is the attorney who successfully argued the case.
According to court documents, Tammy Hatley was the officer fighting the department and city hall.
The suit contends that she had been promoted to the rank of response area commander, which carries the responsibility of staff sergeant, but Hatley was demoted to the lesser rank of sergeant.
"We think that it's important that it establishes rights for employees at the police department," he said.
A federal judge sided with Hatley who claims she was denied due process.
"It was clearly a promotion." Lesesne contends." She had been much greater responsibilities and authority than a Sergeant did and what happened was the police department said we have a right to send you back to being a Sergeant with a pay cut and taking away your authority, and you have nothing to say about it not does the civil service board have anything to say about it."
WBTV has also learned that a financial settlement is the works, but CMPD is remaining low key about the discussions.
City Attorney Mac McCarley said " We are in the process of negotiations regarding a dollar figure."
However, Lou Lesense expects the department to make amends with other officers.
"There are a number of people who are in this same position of response area commander that are probably gonna be the beneficiary of this decision," he said.
This matter is expected to be resolved sometime after the holidays are over.
It could involve up to a dozen sergeants, and the settlement could either be a percentage of the officer's salary or a lump sum payment.
The entry level salary for Patrol Officers with a high school education is just over 37-thousand dollars.
Officers with a Bachelors Degree make at least 41-thousand a year, and pay can go as high as 66-thousand dollars annually.