3 Former City, County Leaders Dismissed from RICO Lawsuit

Crime & Safety

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Three former Savannah City and Chatham County leaders are cleared from a massive police corruption lawsuit.

Former Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis, former Chatham County Manager Russ Abolt and former Savannah City Manager Michael Brown all had the case against them dismissed.

They were 3 of the 15 defendants in a RICO suit filed by four former police officers, Michael and Pete Delatorre, Robert VonLoewenfeldt who claim they were victims of a corrupt police department led by then Chief Willie Lovett.


The suit claims Lovett, along with several high ranking officers, including Former SCMPD Captains Hank Wiley and Cedric Phillips worked together on various “schemes” to make money through illegal gambling, drug trafficking, witness threatening and evidence tampering.

Chatham County Judge Louise Abbott denied a motion to dismiss from the other 12 defendants.

Those include Lovett and Current SCMPD Assistant Chief Juliette Tolbert, Phillips, Wiley, MalikKhaalis, who is about to stand trial for violating his oath of office, Willet Williams, Floyd Sawyer, James Williams, Greg Ramsey, Rodney Gerido, Eric Henderson and Andre Oliver, who is deceased.

This means the case – which was first filed in 2014, just after Chief Lovett retired, is one step closer to a trial.

All four former officers are looking for  monetary damages from the defendants, as well as the city and county.

To read Judge Abbott’s decision

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