RALEIGH -- The state’s highest court heard arguments today in an ongoing battle between a Wilmington police officer and the city.
The case stems from a blocked promotion in 2011 when Officer Kevin Tully was seeking a promotion to sergeant.
Now, six years later, his concerns over the testing process and promotion procedures have made its way to the State Supreme Court.
Tully was told he failed the written test all candidates had to take, but when he reviewed the answer sheet, he found several answers were based on an outdated law.
However, according to the city’s employment policy, a candidate has the right to appeal any portion of the selection process.
Tully did that, but was told his exam questions were not covered by the process.
Last year, the Court of Appeals sided with Tully – stating he has the right to force the city agency to follow its established promotion process.
The city, however, appealed that decision which sent the case before the State Supreme Court to decide.
"We’re supposed to be rewarding officers for knowing the law," said Tully’s lawyer Cheyenne Chambers. "The city did not even know the law because it issued a test that was completely wrong with outdated legal answers."
"They did not have a property interest in this promotion, so therefore whatever the process surrounding the promotion doesn’t matter because the city had a discretion to choose who to promote," said Katie Weaver Hertzog, who is representing the City of Wilmington.
It’s important to note that Tully has worked with the Wilmington Police Department since 2000. He’s was promoted to sergeant last year – but that was five years after the attempt that this case is centered around.
It could be months before the State Supreme Court issues a decision.