Huron police officer's leave is upheld

HURON A federal arbitrator upheld the city's disciplinary actions in the case of a Huron police offi
susanmcmillan
May 24, 2010

 

HURON

A federal arbitrator upheld the city's disciplinary actions in the case of a Huron police officer who popped a pill to beat a blood-pressure test.

Officer Nate Orzech received a 45-day suspension without pay last year for taking a nitroglycerin pill in December 2007 to try to qualify for a wellness credit under the city's health plan.

Former Huron firefighter Matt Meyer supplied the pill from a city EMS squad while on duty. He also was suspended for 45 days.

Orzech disputed the penalty, claiming he did not know he was taking a prescription drug, thus breaking the law, and that hispunishment should be the sameas Meyer's.

The Fraternal Order of Police's brief to arbitrator David Hart claimed Meyer's suspension added up to 280 hours, 80 fewer than Orzech's. Hart determined that wasn't true and the discipline imposed on both was the same.

Orzech cannot appeal the binding arbitration, so this was the last step in the case as far as Huron is concerned, city manager Andy White said.

"It was a challenging situation for everyone involved," he said. "This gives us some closure going forward."

Orzech did not return a phone call Tuesday. Interim police Chief John Majoy said he was not involved in the matter and referred comment to city administrators.

Former police Chief Randy Glovinsky learned of the incident from two of his sergeants and passed it along to White, who brought in a private investigator.

Former fire Chief Paul Berlin served a three-day unpaid suspension for "not following established protocols and not properly supervising members of (the) division."