Thursday, January 18, 2001

Other police firings overturned

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In the past five years, 10 fired Cincinnati police officers took their cases to arbitration. The division was forced to rehire every one of them, at least temporarily.

        Some of the stories:

        • Officer Robert Hill, back to work last week: Fired last June for using excessive force to take an Alzheimer's patient to the floor in a United Dairy Farmers store in Madisonville in November 1999.

        Arbitrator reduced the discipline to a week's suspension without pay, saying the use of force was reasonable and that the dispatcher contributed to the situation by embellishing the potential for violence at the scene.

        • Officer Freddie Vincent, reinstated July 2000: Fired after pleading no contest in August 1999 to speeding on his motorcy cle along U.S. 27 in Butler County and failing to have an operator's license.

        Arbitrator reduced discipline to a 40-hour suspension and said the officer's career could be salvaged with extra training. Officer Vincent had a history of disciplinary actions, including dishonesty, failure of good behavior and neglect of duty for six negligent auto accidents in a cruiser.

        • Officer Andre Ewing, reinstated August 1999: Fired in April 1999 after three women said he asked them for sex.

        Arbitrator decided Officer Ewing violated departmental policy by calling one of the women a derogatory word, but that the suspension of his police powers during the 17-month investigation process was enough punishment.

        • Officer Bonnie Kreimer, reinstated January 1998: Fired in 1997 after being found drunk on an off-duty detail, carrying her weapon, at soccer fields in Sayler Park.

        Officer Kreimer's alcoholism is an illness, the arbitrator said, and she atoned for her culpability during the seven months she was assigned to desk duty while the case continued.

        She was fired again, Personnel Director Rodney Prince said, when she returned to work smelling of alcohol.

        • Officer Rolando Underwood, reinstated December 1996: Fired in June 1996 after having sex with a woman who was associated with a drug dealer, during which he left his gun on the bed. Officer Underwood had been fired before, when he was a recruit, for having an unauthorized gun in his car.

        Arbitrator reduced the discipline to a written reprimand. He lost his job again after pleading guilty in April 2000 to dealing drugs.

Arbitrators put police officers back on force

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