By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
A former Gymnastics Coach for the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Authority has filed a federal lawsuit against the city, county and her ex-boss, Parks and Recreation Executive Director Richard Garland.
According to the lawsuit filed on March 1st, Karen Armstrong was a Gymnastics Coordinator and Head Coach for the Recreation authority when she was accused of siphoning funds for team expenses from parents in 2010. Armstrong would take checks from the parents of her elite Gymnastics team, ‘The Flip City Aerials’ and deposit them into her own account to pay for the various expenses altogether. This prompted executive Director Richard Garland to initiate a criminal investigation against her. Armstrong successfully proved the money was accounted for at her jury trial, and was acquitted on all counts.
Now, Armstrong is suing the two governments and her former boss for what the lawsuit describes was “unreasonable, reckless and false representations and omissions of Garland’s.” Her attorney James Radford says the Director knew about a receipt book which would have accounted for her expenditures, and lied about its whereabouts. Garland might’ve also some money for the alleged stolen funds.
“There is some evidence that there was an insurance claim filed to basically have the insurance company pay money that he alleged had been stolen,” Radford says. “And, of course, no money had been stolen. We’re going to have to find out about that insurance claim, whether it was paid and how much was paid and who ended up benefiting from those funds.”
From the lawsuit, Radford claims his client is seeking equitable relief, whether that be monetary or whatever the Judge sees fit. Above all else, Armstrong’s legal team claims they just want to clear her good name.