Judge's ruling: Richard Rose was a political pawn

Richard Rose. (Photo source: WLOX News)
Richard Rose. (Photo source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The ruling from Administrative Law Judge Nathan Nyberg is very clear. Richard Rose was a victim of a political vendetta in Diamondhead.

The ruling says this about Rose:

"His political bosses used him as a pawn in their schemes to wrangle a little more power for themselves or deprive their rivals of that power," Nyberg wrote.

Rose's attorneys says that's why Rose never got to defend himself at city hall. Ben Bowden is one of them.

"This is exactly why the city did not want to give Mr. Rose a public hearing. Because the evidence is so strong in Mr. Rose's favor. I think they're afraid it would get out on air and in the public and they don't want that," Bowden explained.

City leaders have been quiet, according to attorney James Halliday.

"We've heard nothing from the city, nothing what-so-ever since this ruling. This ruling completely vindicates Mr. Rose's position and what we've been saying since day one from his improper termination, that he did nothing wrong," Halliday said.

He added that Rose, who hasn't worked in months, now has some money coming in.

"Even though the city attempted to deny him that right to his unemployment benefits, Judge Nyberg has granted those, completely and fully and he's receiving them now," said Halliday.

For Rose himself though, his life has changed forever.

"The damage has been done to me. And I'm ready to just get all this behind us and hopefully this is the first step," Rose said.

Bowden said this ruling may also set a precedent in any future court actions.

"The judge is going to see they have no evidence, there's no evidence," said Bowden.

Evidence or not, Rose admits he's going to have a tough time ever finding another job in his chosen profession. The ruling from the administrative law judge becomes final this Thursday. That's also the final day the city can appeal the ruling.

WLOX News did contact Diamondhead city attorney Sean Tindall. He said because of the pending litigation, he could not comment on the ruling, but did say city leaders are considering an appeal.

Meanwhile, Rose's civil case against the city is set for a hearing on December 1 in Hancock County Circuit Court.

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