William Darby remains on city payroll two months after his murder conviction

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The city of Huntsville has received questions and criticism regarding police officer William Darby’s continued pay after his murder conviction.

Darby was convicted of murder in May and remains on the city’s payroll.

The city has faced questions about those arrangements after they announced Darby was on leave, using his accrued leave time.

AL.com reported on July 8 that Darby is on leave through the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act. They also reported that a notice went out to employees asking if they would donate leave time to an unspecified employee – the same day it was announced Darby was placed on leave.

A city spokesperson said that requests for donated leave time are not uncommon and is an option all city employees have, including making the request anonymously.

The city has drawn criticism for leaving a person convicted of murder on its payroll, but they say the federal leave protections prevent are, for now, preventing a mandatory discipline hearing.

City officials have supported Darby publicly even after his conviction and a wrongful death lawsuit against him.

Huntsville is pointing to that in their new arguments.

The updated wrongful death lawsuit was filed last month by the family of Jeffery Parker, the man Darby killed in an on-duty shooting in 2018.

The lawsuit said the Huntsville Police Dept. has regularly cleared officers in on-duty shootings. The lawsuit contends the HPD-appointed review panel decisions led officers to believe they would suffer no repercussions for using excessive and unskillful deadly force.

A schedule has been initially set out for the wrongful death lawsuit field against William Darby and the City of Huntsville. Evidence discovery is set to be completed by May 2022.

Darby is out on bond awaiting his sentencing, which will take place on August 20. He is facing a sentence of between 20 years to life in prison.

The trial is set for August 2022 and is expected to last 3 to 5 days.

His attorneys have stressed they will appeal and have expressed confidence about overturning his conviction.

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