Cirigliano to serve as hearing officer in Nuesse case

SANDUSKY The Sandusky Civil Service Committee voted 3-0 Monday to ask Joseph E. Cirigliano to hear t
MIKE FITZPATRICK
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

The Sandusky Civil Service Committee voted 3-0 Monday to ask Joseph E. Cirigliano to hear the civil service case of fired police chief Kim Nuesse.

City law director Don Icsman recommended Cirigliano and Richard B. McQuade to the commission as possible candidates for hearing officer.

Cirigliano would not comment when contacted Monday. The city of Sandusky had not yet asked him to hear the case, he said. Cirigliano served as a judge in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas from 1981-89 and as an appellate judge for Ninth District Court of Appeals from 1989-91.

Nuesse, Sandusky's first female police chief, was fired June 17 by city manager Matt Kline. Kline asserted Nuesse was dishonest, making her unfit to run the department. Nuesse has denied the charges. Nuesse filed an appeal with the civil service commission to try to get her job back.

If he accepts the job, Cirigliano will be paid $300 an hour, said Warrenette Parthemore, director of the city's department of administrative services.

A hearing officer must hear the case within 30 days of June 20 -- the day Nuesse filed the appeal of her firing, said Warrenette Parthemore, director of the city's department of administrative services. That would set July 20 as the deadline for the hearing.

If he accepts the job, Cirigliano will gather facts on the case from Nuesse and the city, then recommend to the commission to either reinstate the chief or uphold her firing, Parthemore said.

The commission will have the ultimate say whether Nuesse retains her job, said Janice Warner, chairwoman of the civil service commission.

"(Cirigliano's) going to do the fact-finding for us and then bring us the facts, and then we'll make a decision," Warner said.

Nuesse's attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, is comfortable with Cirigliano acting as a hearing officer.

"I've always found Cirigliano to be a good judge," Bailey said. "I don't like the idea that one side is helping pick the judge."