Centerville board rules on fired sergeant’s suspension

The suspension of a fired Centerville police sergeant has been upheld by a local board, the city announced late Wednesday.

An appeal of a five-day 2019 suspension by former Sgt. James Myers to Centerville Personnel Board has been denied, according to the city.

Myers served the suspension after he wrote a letter disparaging the city and criticizing its decision to terminate a public works employee in February 2019, according to the city.

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The city said it terminated that employee after an investigation found the employee’s “behavior included inappropriate touching as well as racist, sexist and homophobic language and behavior over an extended period of time.”

The personnel board held a hearing for Myers in January. Myers was fired on March 16 for eight violations of the police department’s rules of conduct and five violations of the city’s personnel manual, the city said in a news release.

Myers’ appeal of his termination is set for arbitration in August, according to the city.

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Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association attorney Joseph Hegedus said late Wednesday afternoon he was not representing Myers in the appeal and was not aware of the ruling.

Attempts to reach Myers’ attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein, were unsuccessful.

In a statement released by the city, Centerville Police Chief Matt Brown said his department will not accept “any sort of bigotry.”

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“The Centerville Police Department employs men and women of the highest integrity. Those officers deserve better than this behavior, and the community deserves better. We cannot and will not tolerate any of sort of bigotry or those who support it,” according to the statement.

At the January appeal, the city presented testimony of the lieutenant who investigated the charges, Brown, the assistant city manager, City Manager Wayne Davis “and various documents,” Silverstein has said.

Myers also testified, as did two witness, Silverstein said at that time.

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