Centerville’s Appeals Board hears case involving police officer

A Centerville police sergeant appealing a five-day suspension from 2019 received a hearing this week before the city’s Personnel Appeals Board.

The hearing regarding Sgt. James Myers lasted most of the day and was much like a court appearance, as testimony was presented to the appeals board.

The board has not yet reached a decision, officials said.

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Attorney Jeffrey Silverstein of Freking Myers & Reul LLC is representing Myers in his appeal. Silverstein told the Dayton Daily News on Friday that the appeal was heard on Tuesday.

“He was charged with insubordination and criticism of the city,” Silverstein said.

“The city presented testimony of the lieutenant who investigated the charges, the chief of police, the assistant city manager, the city manager and various documents,” Silverstein said. “Sgt. Myers presented two brief witnesses, his own testimony and supporting documents.”

He added that the parties will file closing briefs at a date to be agreed upon after the transcript is prepared.

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Attorney Joseph Scholler, of Frost Brown Todd, is representing the city of Centerville in the matter, and said on Friday that the investigation into the charges against Myers is being taken seriously.

“The city takes charges such as insubordination and criticism of the city seriously. We are diligently working through this process,” Scholler said. “Out of respect for the employee involved and the Personnel Appeals Board, we will withhold commenting further until the process is complete.”

Both parties say the details of why Myers was disciplined and the fallout from it will be detailed when the closing briefs are filed.

According to city officials, the Personnel Appeals Board’s job is to hear disciplinary grievances involving suspensions, demotions and terminations.

It functions like a court of law as the members are to conduct hearing and remain neutral and unbiased. The decision of the Personnel Appeals Board is final.

The board is made up of three members, and currently serving the city are Frank Masterson, Jeffery Klank and Norman Plair.

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