Fired officers
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Fired Stark County law enforcement officers
A Repository analysis found that 34 Stark County law enforcement officers have been fired since 2003. Of the 19 officers who appealed, 10 returned to their jobs, including one officer who was reinstated twice. The Repository attempted to reach each officer where contact information was available.
Police DepartmentOfficer firedDate firedCircumstancesFiring Appealed?Avenue of AppealReinstated?Outcome of Appeal
AllianceMark Welsh5/7/2003Fired for falsifying his time sheet and activity log. The city said Welsh submitted a time sheet and activity log that showed he had worked an extra duty shift for the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority until 11:30 p.m. when he had worked only until roughly 10 p.m. Welsh admitted the error, saying he believed he could make up the time on a different day, similar to how other officers in the SMHA program previously had done. YesArbitratorNoFiring upheld by an arbitrator who said Welsh’s dishonesty in submitting the falsified reports compromised his integrity and could subject him to attacks on his credibility in future court proceedings. Alliance rehired Welsh in 2011.
AllianceGia DeGirolamo1/23/2006Fired for insubordination and conduct unbecoming an officer. She was a probationary employee so she had no right to appeal through the union.No--No
AllianceDavid Newman2/9/2006Fired for failing to show up for work. Instead of going to arbitration, the city allowed him to resign.No--No
AllianceMichelle Bush7/6/2007Fired after causing a three-car crash while on duty in June 2007. Bush, then a probationary employee, had been responding to a call about a person with a gun and ran a red light at the Union Avenue and Ely Street intersection. Her cruiser crashed into a Jeep Cherokee and forced the Cherokee into a minivan. Several people were injured in the crash. Bush was convicted in September 2007 of reckless operation, failure to obey a traffic control signal and not wearing a seat belt. She received a 60-day license suspension and $180 fine.No--NoThe 5th District Court of Appeals upheld her conviction.
AllianceTodd Aderholt2/5/2010Fired for perjury and insubordination. The union initially appealed to an arbitrator, but dropped the grievance before a hearing was held.No--No
Beach CityChief Vern Book9/11/2008Fired after suffering a heart attack in April 2008 because he could not pass a physical to return to work.No--No
CantonBobby L. Cutts Jr.2/19/2003Fired after being accused of giving his personal gun to his cousin, who had a felony conviction, and then lying about it. Cutts had filed a theft report in saying the gun was stolen. He was acquitted in court of unlawful transaction of a weapon and perjury charges in May 2003.YesArbitratorYesReinstated with back pay and benefits by an arbitrator who did not find Cutts’ cousin credible due to the cousin’s felony record and discrepancies in the cousin’s testimony. The arbitrator said there was strong evidence to prove Cutts’ version of events, including that he promptly reported his gun missing, and that it was more likely the cousin took advantage of an opportunity to steal the weapon. Cutts resigned in 2007 after being charged with killing his girlfriend, Jessie Davis, and their unborn child.
CantonGary Edmunds6/3/2003Fired for violating seven departmental rules, including abusing his position for personal gain, associating with prostitutes and unsatisfactory job performance, after he was accused of receiving oral sex from five women who said they did it to avoid being arrested or ticketed. He was acquitted in court of 12 criminal charges of bribery and sexual battery in May 2003.YesArbitratorYesReinstated with back pay by an arbitrator who found the accusers to be unreliable and determined the city failed to meet the burden of proof needed for the firing. Edmunds remains employed with the city.
CantonSteven Fowler5/15/2004Fired for conduct unbecoming an officer, rules violations, unsatisfactory performance, leaving his duty post and lying after the city said he used a state police computer to track the license plate number of a woman in hopes of scoring a date. He also began a relationship with a different woman who had filed a domestic violence complaint against her estranged husband. The estranged husband filed a harassment complaint against Fowler in January 2004.YesArbitratorYesReinstated by an arbitrator who said Fowler should be penalized but the decision to fire him was too severe. Fowler was not given back pay. The arbitrator noted that Fowler had no prior disciplinary actions. Fowler died in 2012.
CantonGreg Gilmore7/28/2004Fired after being accused of not being truthful about a Dec. 19, 2003 bar fight between a Canton City police officer and a drunk patron. Gilmore, who was off duty, had denied seeing the other city officer assault the handcuffed patron.YesArbitratorYesReinstated with back pay and benefits in May 2005 by an arbitrator who said the city did not prove that Gilmore was lying as the videotape did not capture the entire incident. The arbitrator also credited Gilmore with a good work record. Gilmore remains employed with the city.
CantonAnthony Jackson10/3/2007Fired for repeatedly misusing alcohol and a firearm and for being unable to control his temper in stressful situations. In May 2006, Jackson was in a fight a Lew's Tavern while carrying a loaded weapon and faced a felony gun charge for having a gun in a liquor establishment. A judge dismissed the charge, saying county prosecutors were wrong to use evidence gathered during the city's Internal Affairs investigation. In February 2006, Jackson, while off duty, hit a pedestrian with his SUV, drove away and then crashed into a garbage bin. He was found guilty of drunken driving and failure to control his vehicle. The union initally appealed Jackson's firing to an arbitrator, but dropped the appeal and agreed to a last-chance agreement with the city where Jackson was reinstated and the city paid him $10,000 for lost pay and benefits.No--Yes
CantonDaniel Harless1/10/2012Fired for verbally abusing residents, including threatening to shoot and kill them, during three separate traffic stops.YesArbitratorYesReinstated in November 2012 by an arbitrator who found Harless’ conduct defensible because he had been patrolling a high-crime area, suffered from “upsetting memories” due to a fight he had with an arrestee eight years earlier and believed he was in danger. The arbitrator also credited the then 15-year department veteran with a good work record. Harless, who has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and depression, has not been cleared to return to work. The city has appealed the arbitrator’s ruling in Stark County Common Pleas Court.
HartvilleGreg Pramuka2/26/2008Failure to follow policies and procedures.No--No
HartvilleAaron Bardwell11/13/2009Failure to follow policies and procedures. Bardwell filed a lawsuit in November 2009 in Stark County Common Pleas Court that claimed he received unfair treatment, more severe punishment and was not removed from probationary status because he tried to alert Hartville’s mayor and council about problems in the police department, such as mounting police paperwork and lack of supervision and training. YesCourtNoHe dropped the lawsuit eight months later.
Hills and DalesLt. Rodney K. Smith5/15/2003Fired for misuse of state computer system, abuse of subordinate, gross neglect of duty, disobedience of an order, misuse and damage of village property and sabotage of village surveillance equipment. Smith filed a lawsuit in federal court that claimed the village violated due process laws and its own disciplinary procedures because the mayor fired him without a vote from village council.YesCourtYesReinstated through a settlement that said the village’s insurance policy would pay Smith $10,000 and he would resign.
JacksonAndrew Wood2/14/2005Fired for using excessive profanity and demeaning the department and its supervisors during a recorded conversation with a police dispatcher in 2004. Trustees had given Wood, who was part-time, a last-chance agreement, but Wood said he refused to return to the department and was automatically terminated.No--No
JacksonTroy Ransom2/21/2006Fired after being accused of receiving oral sex in a church parking lot in September 2005 while he was on duty and then lying to investigators during an internal review. Ransom denied the sex act occurred.YesArbitratorNoFiring upheld by an arbitrator who said these type of incidents, when they become public, severely compromise the reputation of the department, the trust and confidence of citizens and the employees’ morale.
JacksonEric B. Martzolf10/22/2007Fired after being convicted of disorderly conduct for entering his wife’s workplace, striking her twice in the face and pushing her to the ground.YesArbitratorYesReinstated by an arbitrator without back pay under a last-chance agreement that said Martzolf must seek counseling and would be fired if he was found guilty of committing a similar act within the next two years. The arbitrator said he was exercising the same level of compassion as the municipal court judge who reduced the initial domestic violence charge to disorderly conduct and ordered Martzolf to undergo counseling as part of his probation. Martzolf was sentenced to 30 days in jail with 28 days suspended on the condition of no related offenses for two years. Martzolf remains employed with the township.
JacksonTodd A. Macaluso8/28/2008Fired for making a false statement and engaging in conduct unbecoming an officer after an internal investigation said he used a cheat sheet on the state-administered annual breath alcohol certification exam. Macaluso admitted having the cheat sheet but said he didn’t use it.YesArbitratorYesReinstated by an arbitrator who said Macaluso did not make a false statement because the township could not prove that Macaluso had heard the test administrator’s request for anyone with an answer sheet to turn it in. The arbitrator noted that the Ohio Highway Patrol troopers who also had been accused of cheating had been returned to their jobs, either by petitioning for reinstatement, grievance settlements or by the decisions of three different arbitrators. Macaluso did not receive back pay for the time he was off work.
JacksonTodd A. Macaluso8/2/2011Fired for violating an alcohol rehabilitation agreement he signed after he testing positive for alcohol while on duty in September 2010.YesArbitratorYesReinstated with back pay by an arbitrator who said the rehabilitation agreement did not include a “zero-tolerance” policy and said that while Macaluso’s actions were “ill-advised,” they did not violate the agreement’s language.
JacksonChristopher D. McCord1/3/2011Fired for violating the township's policy on program discipline and corrective action. The union appealed the firing and requested arbitration but then reached at settlement with trustees before the arbitration hearing was held. As part of the Feb. 12, 2012 settlement, McCord resigned effective Dec. 12, 2011 and received a lump-sum payment of $15,000.No--Yes
JacksonRichard Leon1/9/2012Fired for violating a last-chance agreement by failing to complete workers’ compensation paperwork as ordered by the police chief. The 2009 agreement said Leon could not violate any rules, except minor offenses, within 36 months. Leon said he did not complete the paperwork because he thought it would be illegal to request temporary compensation when he was receiving a salary from the township.YesArbitratorNoFiring upheld by an arbitrator who found that Leon failed to carry out the chief’s order for 30 days without raising any questions about the legitimacy of the order. The arbitrator said that disobeying an order was a major offense because it is a functional necessity within a paramilitary organization to have subordinates carry out orders from a higher authority.
MarlboroKevin McCann2/16/2004Fired after it was discovered he omitted on his application his previous employment with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office, Doylestown Police Department and Hills and Dales Police Department. Had been previously disciplined for not wearing a microphone during traffic stops or reporting the stops to dispatchers. In April 6, 2010, McCann was fired from the Dellroy Police Department after admitting to felony child abuse charges.No--No
MarlboroDaniel Ebert6/15/2011Fired after he could not pass field training in the two years he was on the force. He also did not return calls from the chief and other officers.No--No
MarlboroDustin M. Fish11/7/2012Fired after failing to complete mandatory firearms qualifications, for not obtaining an electronic medical records license and for not showing up for work or reporting off. No--No
MassillonJames J. Baumgardner7/29/2004Fired for allegedly lying about his actions on the night in April 2004 when a man killed himself in a cell at Massillon city jail. Officials said Baumgardner failed in his duties because he did not discover the suicide.YesArbitratorYesReinstated by an arbitrator who said that a police officer should not be responsible or held accountable when adequate training and proper procedures were never in place. He said the city ignored recommendations to spend more money on jail operations, including better training procedures, due to strained finances. Baumgardner remains employed with the city.
MassillonE. Michael Bridenthal7/29/2004Fired for violating a 2003 last-chance agreement where he had agreed to lose 100 pounds within a year and to improve his physical condition. He lost only 60 pounds. The police union declined to file a grievance on Bridenthal’s behalf. Bridenthal appealed to the Massillon Civil Service Commission and to the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.YesCivil Service Commission, Civil Rights CommissionNoBoth appeals were dismissed.
MassillonRobert W. Boyd8/26/2005Fired after the city said Boyd ignored a theft call for 17 minutes as he and another officer drank ice tea in a restaurant. He also was accused of entering a police captain’s personnel file without permission, printing photocopies of the captain to create a mask that was used a mocking way, lied three times to investigators and disobeyed orders such as allowing two cruisers at a restaurant at the same time. Boyd filed a federal lawsuit that claimed he was fired because he threatened to expose other officers’ on-duty use of city equipment to disseminate child pornography, obscenities and hate mongering.YesCourtNoHe agreed to an undisclosed settlement with the city.
MassillonSgt. Richard Siskie8/26/2005Fired after the city said Siskie failed to take control of Officer Robert Boyd’s action, participated in the mocking a superior ranking officer, filed a false theft report claiming an unauthorized photocopy of the captain’s picture was stolen, lied five times to investigators and disobeyed orders such as allowing two cruisers at a restaurant at the same time. Siskie filed a federal lawsuit saying he was targeted because he threatened to expose that child pornography had been on departmental computers.YesCourtNoHe agreed to an undisclosed settlement with the city.
PerrySgt. Richard C. Wiseman4/26/2004Fired for violating departmental policy on April 26, 2004, when he struck a department dispatcher with a water bottle. He also faced an assault charge, which was later dismissed as part of a settlement agreement. Wiseman agreed to resign and drop his appeal. Trustees agreed to pay Wiseman $4,000 for unused sick time and give him a neutral letter of employment. But trustees refused to rescind their vote to terminate him.No--No
PerryChief Mark A. Machan12/14/2004Fired for failing to properly deal with personnel issues and mishandling the department’s budget. Machan filed a federal lawsuit that claimed he was fired as punishment for being a Republican candidate for county sheriff in November 2004.YesCourtNoUnder a settlement, the township paid Machan $2,500 and its insurance carrier paid him $11,500. Machan recently retired as police chief from the Millford Police Department in Clermont County and now works at the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
PerryJanine (England) Senanayake7/7/2009Fired after being caught on a police cruiser’s dashboard video camera kissing and caressing the then-police chief during a trip to Cincinnati to pick up a prisoner. YesCourtPendingFiled a discrimination case against the township in federal court in February. That case is pending.
SheriffDeputy Michael McCroskey12/23/2008Fired after being arrested on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and unlawful restraint. The charges stemmed from a December 2008 incident in Jackson Township when McCroskey pushed a woman while she was holding their infant son, then threatened to kill her and to commit suicide. McCroskey was found guilty of unlawful restraint, but the domestic violence charge was dismissed as part of a settlement. McCroskey also was arrested for domestic violence involving the same woman on Aug. 25, 2008. He was found guilty on a lesser charge of disorderly conduct.No--No
SheriffDeputy Brian Pittman6/19/2009Fired after a woman claimed Pittman had fondled her breasts when he — off duty but in a sheriff’s cruiser — drove her to her relative’s home in April 2009. The sheriff’s office said Pittman also violated multiple departmental rules such as not notifying dispatchers that he had picked up the woman walking along state Route 153, failing to check whether the woman had any arrest warrants or a weapon, failing to activate the cruiser’s lights and in-car video camera and had looked at pornography on his department-issued laptop while on duty. Pittman had denied touching the woman and said the pornographic pictures had been emailed to him by a supervisor.YesArbitratorYesReinstated with back pay by an arbitrator who said the sheriff’s office did not prove that Pittman touched the woman because her statements were not believable and riddled with inconsistencies. The arbitrator said Pittman’s flagrant disregard of other departmental rules and procedures warranted discipline but not termination. He ordered that Pittman be suspended for 150 days. Pittman remains employed with the sheriff’s office.
UniontownEdgar Beverage Jr.7/26/2010Fired during his probationary period. Lake Trustee John Arnold said he was not brought on full time based on the recommendations of the police chief, police captain and legal counsel. He said it wasn't related to disciplinary action, but declined to provide further details.No--No
Updated July 14, 2013