Miami County Sheriff Charles Cox fired longtime Deputy Tina Waymire on Thursday, a decision one of her attorneys argued was in retaliation for her legal actions against the department.
Waymire had been on administrative leave since May 1, pending what the sheriff then described only as “an investigation.”
“Not only does your most recent behavior represent termination offenses, but your pattern of behavior and your dishonesty make it impossible for you to continue your employment here,” Cox wrote in the termination letter to Waymire.
Cox listed alleged violations that include:
- Refusing to comply with direct orders;
- Providing false testimony, statements or information during administrative investigation;
- Failing to request clarification regarding removing confidential and proprietary information from the sheriff’s office for personal reasons;
- Violating oath of office;
- Being given direct orders to be truthful during investigatory interviews and instead lying;
- Demeaning a juvenile member of the public;
- Violating terms of a performance improvement plan.
Waymire said she could not comment. She referred questions to her lawyers.
Attorney Jason Matthews of Dayton said Waymire has a lawsuit in federal court claiming violations of Fair Labor Standards Act and a workforce environment claim pending with the state civil rights commission.
“We believe that this termination is in retaliation for Tina pursuing her rights under federal and state anti-discrimination laws,” Matthews said.
Waymire has been with the sheriff’s office nearly 30 years.
“I think that her length of service and her dedication to the department — and also the love for the job — make this a very difficult situation for her,” Matthews said.
The sheriff’s office declined to release immediately a detailed investigation report. Maj. Steve Lord said Thursday the report would be released soon, but the sheriff wanted first to obtain legal advice from the person likely to handle arbitration involving the termination decision.
“We want to be sure due process is protected,” Lord said.
Lord reiterated that the disciplinary action involving Waymire had nothing to do with her participation in a Jan. 12 rescue of a dog from the Great Miami River in Troy.
Waymire, who was the department K-9 handler for years, responded on her own and was given verbal counseling for her actions during the emergency that also drew response by the Troy fire and police departments and county animal shelter. Lord said following that incident that the department appreciated Waymire’s efforts to help save the dog, but added employees also have policies that need to be followed.
Once the dog was rescued by firefighters, Waymire put the dog in her cruiser and used emergency lights and siren in taking the dog to the Stonyridge Veterinary Hospital.
FIRST REPORT (May 5)
A longtime Miami County Sheriff’s deputy was placed on paid administrative leave May 1 pending what Sheriff Charles Cox would describe only as “an investigation.”
A letter to Deputy Tina Waymire states the leave was pending the result of an investigation and was effective immediately and until Waymire was notified otherwise.
Chief Deputy Dave Duchak said Monday that Waymire was placed on leave after Cox “consulted with and received legal advice.”
Questions for Waymire about the leave were referred to her Fraternal Order of Police representative Barry Gray. He did not returned a call or respond to an email seeking comment.
Duchak said the action was not associated with a complaint Waymire filed May 1 in U.S. District Court in Dayton against the sheriff’s office, in care of the county commissioners.