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Ohio Supreme Court refuses to hear false ticket case

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Employment Law,Firing

Beth Rist, former Ironton police officer and current Ironton City Council member, appears to have exhausted her legal appeals in her battle to return to uniform. The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to hear her case. (See “After career ups and downs, Ironton officer is still fired.”)

In 2008, Rist admitted issuing a traffic ticket to someone other than the person driving the car. That amounted to a misdemeanor—filing a false police statement. Upon conviction, the department fired Rist. But she maintained that the termination was actually retaliation for successfully suing the city for sexual harassment in 2001.

She filed a grievance over the termination and an arbiter sided with her. The city appealed the arbiter’s ruling, and the state appeals court reinstated the firing. Then Rist appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court, where a 5-2 majority refused to hear the case. The court gave no reason for the denial.

Rist may request a reconsideration, but it is unlikely two justices will change their minds.

Note: Employers must document every move when terminating employees. As this case demonstrates, the information must be available for arbiters, juries and appeals court judges—possibly for years to come.

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