Fired Sandusky officer to get job back, $50K payout

One point in an alleged Sandusky police love triangle is getting his job back.
Emil Whitis
Feb 15, 2013

Arbitrator Mary Jo Schiavoni ruled Tuesday that Sandusky officials did not have “just cause” to fire former Sandusky police Sgt. Steve Ritterbach last year.  

“He’ll be back within the next week or so,” Sandusky police Lt. John Orzech said.

Schiavoni ordered the city to convert the firing into a 30-day suspension. In other words, Ritterbach will not only wear a badge and a gun again, he’ll also get eight months of back pay, plus whatever benefits he would have accrued since June.

This is on top of two months of pay he received on administrative leave, while Sandusky police administrators investigated a texting affair between his wife, Jennifer Ritterbach, and former Sandusky police Officer Todd Smith.

In the end, Ritterbach will receive pay for 10 months of non-service to the city — a check for at least $50,000, based on his most recent salary data.  

For more on the original incident that led to the firing and what's next for the others involved, pick up a copy of Friday's Register.



What a classy dude.


Oh my, this news comes days after good ole Christopher Dormer was gunned down by California's finest. Yet,interestingly, the facts regarding the alleged corruption scandal regarding LAPD has been swepted under the rug.

Now I'm just wondering if the good ole boys in Erie County are fearful that a ole Ritterbach is a loose canon too?

Well, in the end let's see who wins.


"Yet,interestingly, the facts regarding the alleged corruption scandal regarding LAPD has been swepted under the rug."

Good comment.

Julie R.

That WAS a good comment.

Wasn't the LAPD also the ones behind the Rodney King incident? Dorner for sure committed heinous crimes but now there will be no further investigation into the truth. How did he get fired for simply accusing another police officer of kicking a mentally disabled man? Did he fabricate the complaint .... or is the real truth the incident was covered up and Dorner was unjustly fired for being a whistleblower?

I think the latter. This man was provoked into snapping by his anger over the corruption in the LAPD.


"Snaping by his anger". If you get Unjustifiably fired, you get a lawyer and not a gun. You sue them, not kill a bunch of innocent people who prior to the day they were killed by this idiot, didn't even know the name Christopher Dorner. How does Rodney King fit into this situation? Yes, King was assaulted nay beat down but a jury in the criminal trial, regular citizens, found that there was no crime and cleared them but ultimately they were held accountable through the judicial system. King didn't get a gun and start shooting.

Julie R.

What you say is true but who knows what makes some people snap? From what I've read this guy was a normal and decent guy until he was fired for blowing the whistle on another police officer. Most people get treated unfairly and they learn to live with it. Others like Dorner let it fester and fester until they snap. That's the scary thing about corruption. One never knows for sure how many out there are just like Dorner.

The Answer Person

NO Julie. Rodney King was behind the ROdney King incident.

Julie R.

As opposed to all the other media outlets, wonder why there has been none to miniscule coverage about this former LAPD cop Chris Dorner in the Sandusky Register, Lorain Journal, and Cleveland Plain Dealer?

The Answer Person

Because it really does not matter. He is dead and that is that. No one cares.

Julie R.

There was hardly anything about it BEFORE he was dead, which is odd considering all the rest of the media coverage on it.

You can bet the other media sources are already after the court records. Wasn't it said he was fighting to get his job back since 2008 and his latest appeal was denied?


Swept....not swepted

Good 2 B Me

What a joke. These guys are not held accountable for ANYTHING.


The city has to come up with $100,000 total for two cops coming back to work. We paid out that much salary and didn't get any services out of these cops because they were sitting it out waiting to come back to work. Somewhere something is wrong and needs to be fixed. The city cannot be repeating the same error ovr and over when firing someone in the union.


This is a joke. This arbitration crap makes no sense sometimes...


wow....hope he grows up a LOT before he comes back.


Why do you think he paid Union dues, they get your job back every time! Doesn't matter what you did wrong.


This is pretty common practice it seems for the SPD..This happens often there as to what I can remember


does the other cop have to give his wife back to him now?


Welcome back Steve.



If there is indeed an underground movement to adjust Sandusky's government, it should be picking up steam thanks to the City administration's continued bumblings.

Rod Farva

He looks trustworthy ....


if he was taken care of business she wouldnt have needed the other cop...........and we pay them for this ??? what a joke some police depts have become sad

Swamp Fox

Like it or not, its called binding arbitration, if you don't like negotiate it on the next contract. If you really dislike it you should have voted for SB5...


What happens to the new officers we hired to take their place while they were gone? We now have more then enough officers. On what grounds is the union claiming that these officers can come back?

Molon Labe

Good to hear it Steve! Welcome back! Thought I would put something positive up here since everyone is a negative nancy on here.


Not everybody gets their job back. Just ask the guy who got caught stealing gas. His case went to arbitration and his firing was upheld. In most cases, its called progressive disclipine,whether you like it or not. In many cases, the City just goes to corporal punishment (termination), Basically, in this case, the arbitrater felt that termination was to strong of a punishment. Also, if Ritterbach has been working, I do believe whatever wages he was earning will offset his reinstatement amount.


This is getting interesting.


what a union they have. They get to play disqusting games and are reprimanded for bad behavior. They get fired for justifable reason and then cry foul, only to get their jobs back and we have to pay them? For what? Their bad behavior and disqusting lives? What wonderful examples they set for our kids to be shown.

I agree with everyone on here who says this arbitration is a joke.

Sit n Spin

He is a joke of a person, period. Not one officer wants him back at the SPD. I dont blame them, he would throw his owm Mother under the bus to save his own rear. Stevie boy can't be trusted. Have fun going back to work Stevie, nobody will have your back so I hope you get some type of desk duty for your own good !


good to know.