Decision in on Huron officer, firefighter

HURON Forty-five day suspension without pay. That's the penalty Huron city manager An
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

HURON

Forty-five day suspension without pay.

That's the penalty Huron city manager Andy White said he has imposed on two city employees -- a police officer and a firefighter -- who conspired to beat a blood pressure test.

Both firefighter Matt Meyer and officer Nate Orzech were forthcoming in admitting their behavior, White added in a statement Wednesday.

Meyer has also been disqualified from the 2008 blood pressure test, the release said.

White did not return calls Wednesday afternoon seeking comment beyond the statement.

The men's employment status went into question after a private investigator revealed Orzech took a nitroglycerin tablet in December 2007 to pass a blood pressure test and qualify for a "wellness" credit under the city's health benefits plan.

The report, written by Columbus-based private investigator Robert Schultz, cited several employee conduct violations, including dispensing medication without a doctor's approval or outside of a medical emergency.

Meyer gave Orzech the pill, which he obtained from a city EMS squad, the report said.

"Both of these employees clearly committed serious offenses, but both had impeccable work records before this incident," White wrote in the release.

Meyer has been a full-time firefighter for three years and worked part-time for the department before that.

Orzech has been with the police department since 1999.

City employees with health benefits are tested for five wellness credits: blood pressure, nicotine, glucose, cholesterol and body mass index. If all tests are passed, the employee qualifies for an $800 reimbursement on the plan's $4,000 deductible.

Pre-disciplinary hearings were conducted separately for each employee last week, allowing them each an opportunity to speak before penalty was imposed.