Ludowici Police Department Captain Robert Kicklighter was formally fired by the Ludowici City Council on Thursday after a hearing was held to investigate the circumstances of his departure from the department on Dec. 23.
The action was approved without him or his legal representation present at the hearing, which he requested during last month’s council meeting. According to City Attorney Joe Kitchings, despite Kicklighter’s absence, the hearing started at 9 a.m. as scheduled. He said that after the council looked at the information regarding the matter, there were some questions about how it was handled and that he was not properly terminated. Kitchings said that after this was determined, the council reviewed Kicklighter’s record as a member of the LPD and decided to fire him.
Kitchings said the reason Kicklighter was terminated was because the council ruled that his work was “unsatisfactory.” The city attorney said Kicklighter had been hired primarily to be a patrol officer and work a 40-hour week, but had failed to report for duty at his assigned times on several occasions.
Kitchings was asked by the Courier if Kicklighter given proper notice of the date and time of the scheduled hearing, and the city attorney said “yes.” He added that Kicklighter had obtained attorney Joseph Segui to represent him, so all correspondence had to be sent through his counsel.
Kitchings also said that the attorney had responded via an email acknowledging that he and his client were aware of when the hearing would take place.
However, Kitchings said Thursday afternoon that after the hearing had concluded, Segui contacted him and said that there had been some questions as to the exact time the hearing was scheduled for.
Kitchings said that with the council officially terminating Kicklighter, the matter is closed as far as the city is concerned.
On Friday, the Courier attempted to reach Segui by phone and text for comment, but was unable to reach him, nor did he return any calls.