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Guard fired in sex scandal drops grievance for $5K, ‘neutral’ reference

Jessica Cuffman • May 12, 2013 at 5:25 AM

State officials are still trying to decide if they should investigate three former Sandusky County jail guards accused of mistreating a mentally ill inmate.   

Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer’s office, meanwhile, is paying $5,000 to one of the ousted guards, Charlie Pump, as long as Pump agrees not to dispute his termination.

It remains to be seen if Pump and former guards Frank Kaiser and Josh Smith will face criminal charges for the alleged sexual exploitation of a female inmate at the jail earlier this year.

The three men played varying roles in allegedly harassing the 21-year-old schizophrenic woman Jan. 10 while she was locked in a jail cell, according to investigators’ reports.    

The woman threatened to kill herself that day, and she also flushed her gown down the toilet, which flooded her jail cell. 

Instead of cleaning her cell and providing her with a new gown, the three jail guards left her naked, with only a wet blanket to cover herself, investigators’ reports said.

She remained that way for six hours. During that time, Pump allegedly encouraged her to masturbate and otherwise act out sexually, the reports said.

Pump and Kaiser were fired Feb. 21 and Smith resigned.

Pump and Kaiser later filed grievances, claiming the decision to terminate them violated the union’s collective bargaining agreement.

Smith was a probationary employee when he resigned; as such, he was not entitled to union protection. Pump and Kaiser both claimed they submitted to polygraph tests that proved their innocence.

“I have the proof that I did not engage in the alleged sexual activity,” Pump stated in an appeal when his unemployment compensation was denied. “The other alleged violations are ridiculously trumped up and in all reality are not worthy of termination.”

Pump’s appeal was scheduled for arbitration this month, but Overmyer reached a settlement with him last week.

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Pump accepted the terms Monday. The agreement requires him to withdraw his grievance.

In exchange, the county will pay him $5,000 and will only provide “neutral” references to his potential future employers.

That means county officials can only confirm certain information for Pump’s prospective employers, such as his start and finish dates and his rate of pay.

The agreement also stipulates Overmyer and Pump will not make disparaging remarks about each other, and they will not discuss the settlement.

Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt referred the criminal investigation to the Ohio Attorney General’s office for review.

Attorney General’s spokeswoman Jill Del Greco said special prosecutors are still reviewing the case.

“No one has been assigned to the case,” Del Greco said. “We haven’t accepted the case or rejected it, either.”

Kaiser’s grievance is still pending.

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