Posted: 5:25 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2013

Judge rules Miami Twp. officer improperly fired

Maj. John DiPietro
Former Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro.

Lou Grieco

A Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge has found that former Miami Twp. Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro was improperly fired, but the judge’s ruling leaves open the question of whether DiPietro will get his job back.

Judge Michael Krumholtz set a hearing for Aug. 15 so he can look over an official transcript with the testimony of Montgomery County Sheriff’s Capt. Tom Flanders, who performed the internal affairs investigation into DiPietro’s actions on July 12, 2012. That’s when DiPietro is accused of hosing down a naked 17-year-old girl who had been pepper-sprayed.

Krumholtz found that the hearing was needed to determine whether DiPietro should be returned to work.

The judge agreed with DiPietro that his firing was invalid because then-Chief Chris Krug served the notice of pre-discliplinary hearing to DiPietro on Oct. 19, then filed the notice with the board of trustees. State law requires the board to file the charges after making an initial finding that it has reason to believe DiPietro was guilty of those charges, Krumholtz found.

DiPietro, who received a medical disability soon after the firing, is seeking unused sick pay accrued after 26 years of employement, back pay and reinstatement.

But while Krumholtz agreed that DiPietro’s right to due process had been violated, he also cited case law that stated that, a procedural defect would not automatically return DiPietro to his job if there was a finding that he would have been fired anyway.