Adam Hadder, the former assistant director of the Walker County Narcotics Enforcement Team, was fired by Sheriff John Mark Tirey in September. Hadder appealed the firing to the Walker County Civil Service Board.
The hearing was originally set for January but was rescheduled for Monday. Civil service board members listened to testimony from witnesses for four hours. Around 9 p.m., officials adjourned the hearing for the night. Testimony will resume Monday, March 4 at 5 p.m. Civil service officials said the hearing could also continue into Tuesday, March 5 if needed.
Jasper attorney Thomas Carmichael filed a civil suit in August on behalf of Gerald Garrison, a process server who was allegedly arrested by Hadder for attempting to serve him with a subpoena. Carmichael cited posts made by Hadder on the Daily Mountain Eagle Facebook page as evidence that he tried to intimidate and threaten Garrison and others, which led to Hadder being suspended and ultimately fired from the sheriff’s office.
Hadder said in August the lawsuit was revenge by Carmichael because Hadder had previously tried to prosecute him.
Garrison was the first to testify during Monday’s hearing. Garrison testified for more than hour, giving his version of what transpired the day he was arrested by Hadder.
Also taking the stand were three employees from the sheriff’s office. Sgt. Sharon Craven, Sgt. Richard Calloway and Chief Deputy James Painter.
All three testified about what transpired when Garrison was brought to the Walker County Jail at the time of his arrest.
Robert Christensen, owner of Hardcore Investigations, testified that Garrison worked for him at the time of the incident.
“He did exactly what he was told to do,” Christensen said.
Gayle Gear, a Birmingham attorney, is representing Hadder. She said his due process was violated through his termination.
“He is a young man who was devoted to law enforcement during his 15 years of service, and he is here tonight to clear his name,” Gear said about Hadder. “No investigation was ever done into the lawyer’s allegations and this is the first chance to have a real hearing.”