Ohio cop gets job back — against sheriff’s wishes — despite being charged in two deaths
The Ohio sheriff’s deputy indicted in connection with two separate fatal shootings has been reinstated — but his supervisor has sworn not to pay him or allow him to work again, the Columbus Dispatch reported.
Pike county Deputy Joel Jenkins had been fired after being charged with murder and manslaughter, respectively, in the deaths of Robert Rooker in March and Jason Brady earlier this month. But according to the Chillicothe Gazette, he got his job back because of what has been described as “confusion” regarding his contract with the department.
The Fraternal Order of Police’s Ohio Labor Council filed a grievance on Jenkins’ behalf, arguing that Sheriff Charles Reader violated Jenkins’ right to due process by terminating his employment after Jenkins shot and killed Brady, his neighbor, while off duty. Jenkins, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and tampering with evidence following Brady’s death, has argued that his gun went off accidentally.
“There was some confusion in what the contract said and meant, and we’re ironing it out,” said county labor consultant Bob Cross. “We may owe [Jenkins] a few days pay.”
The Gazette reported that the department’s contract stipulates that any employee charged with a felony “shall be placed on administrative leave without pay pending the resolution of the charges against the bargaining unit member.”
At the time of Brady’s death, Jenkins was already facing another reckless homicide charge, on top of a murder charge, for shooting and killing Rooker after pursuing him alongside two other deputies. He has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.
Cross said a hearing between the union and county officials will be held on Dec. 30. It is possible that Jenkins could be allowed to remain with the department without pay while his case proceeds and be fired later.
Reader said that he views the union’s efforts as a procedural matter to retain some pay for Jenkins, adding, “He will never work in this department again.”
[h/t The Free Thought Project]