A Franklin Circuit Court judge has signed an agreed order to dismiss with prejudice a wrongful termination civil lawsuit filed by Alvin Cummins, a former Franklin County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, against the department and Sheriff Chris Quire.
Dismissed with prejudice means the case is permanently dismissed and cannot be brought back to court.
Alvin T. Cummins II, 45, of Waddy, filed the suit, which alleged he was denied his right to due process of law under KRS 15.520 — the Kentucky Policeman’s Bill of Rights — and was entitled to punitive damages after he was terminated and his position was dissolved, on Dec. 31, 2019, when Quire took office.
At the time, the sheriff told The State Journal that as part of restructuring, he opted for three divisional captains — investigations and administrative, street units and patrol operations, and courthouse security — rather than a solo chief deputy.
“I feel confident that I made the right decision and will continue to hold employees of the sheriff’s office to high standards,” Quire stated.
In the suit, Cummins contended that he was fired without a reason or explanation and that he did not receive a hearing within 60 days of his termination. In addition to immediate reinstatement as an employee, Cummins also sought compensatory and punitive damages.
In his June 24 order to dismiss, Judge Thomas Wingate stated that both the plaintiff and the defendant are “to bear their own costs.”
When asked about the judge’s order on Wednesday, Quire reiterated a point he made when the lawsuit was filed.
“I got 99 problems — this ain’t one,” Quire explained, adding that per KRS 70.030, the sheriff can revoke appointments at his or her pleasure.
In 2018, Cummins was indicted in Shelby County on four counts of willfully making false tax return or failing to file a tax return, a Class D felony, from 2013-2016. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment.
Cummins was initially suspended without pay when former Sheriff Pat Melton learned of the indictment, but nine days later Melton reinstated Cummins — at his nearly $70,000 salary — in an administrative role. Melton also allowed Cummins to use vacation days for the time he spent on suspension.
In interviews with The State Journal following the reinstatement, Melton maintained that Cummins’ indictment had “nothing to do with the sheriff’s office.”
Last year, Cummins was indicted on a fifth charge of willfully making false tax return or failing to file a tax return, a Class D felony, from 2017.
According to court records, Cummins is scheduled to be back in Shelby Circuit on July 26 to enter a plea to all five charges. A Shelby Circuit Court clerk told the newspaper Thursday that the court is likely trying to come up with an agreement for Cummins to plead guilty.
“That is correct – ‘to enter plea’ is our scheduled event for them to enter their guilty plea,” Franklin Circuit Court Clerk Amy Feldman added.