Arbitrator agrees with city; officer still fired - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Arbitrator agrees with city; officer still fired

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - An arbitrator has agreed with the city of Cincinnati and a fired police officer will not be rehired. 

The ruling that came down last Friday says that Officer Victor Spellen does not get his job back.

It all stems from the death of Roger Owensby, Jr in November of 2007.  

 Police Officer Victor Spellen was not on the scene of the Owensby arrest but was dismissed because he lied on the stand during the trial of another police officer, Robert Jorg, who was charged with manslaughter.

Here is the release from Cincinnati:

On Friday, April 10, the City of Cincinnati received notice of the arbitrator's decision in the FOP's grievance of Police Officer Victor Spellen's dismissal.  The arbitrator upheld the city's dismissal of Officer Spellen and denied the grievance.

The City terminated Spellen for failure of good behavior and dishonesty in the investigation surrounding the an incident on November 7, 2000, which began with an investigatory stop of Roger Owensby, Jr., and resulted in his accidental death.  Spellen, while not part of Owensby's arrest, was present at the scene is charged with dishonestly representing events that occurred that night.  

In his ruling, arbitrator Jonathan Klein wrote, "The severity of the grievant's actions in this case, the lack of mitigating factor's [SIC] and the absence of comparable cases in which less severe discipline was imposed, compel the conclusion that the grievant's discharge was for just cause. For each of the foregoing reasons, the grievance is denied."

The case was remanded to the arbitrator from the First Court of Appeals, after the Ohio Supreme Court denied jurisdiction on the matter.

"While this case has had a long history, we are pleased that the arbitrator has upheld the Court of Appeals' interpretation and found for the city," said City Solicitor John Curp. 

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