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.

Comments

luvblues2

That is Sit n Spin's opinion, wired. Not fact. I have no dog in this fight but, accepting someone's opinion as "knowing", doesn't help.

Sit n Spin

Oooooh I "know" & that is all FACT, trust me on that luvy !

luvblues2

Show me S n S. I have time...

Sit n Spin

I have & would but every time I post something "its personal" & gets removed by big brother. The guy is not a stellar human being, just ask around & get everyone's "opinion" on him. For every one person that says anything positive you will get ten that will just look at you & shake their head in disgust. FACT Luvy !

luvblues2

I don't live in Sandtown, S n S. I do business there, which is why I am concerned. I don't know 10 people in that city that care enough to vote or comment. Maybe a couple, few. That's why I asked.

BytheBy

Agreed. Sit has some unresolved issues with a failed romance.

pavedparadise

@ Sit n Spin

hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

BytheBy

I was thinking the same thing. Sit sounds like a jilted lover.

YouDon'tSay

I've heard the exact same thing about him!

Sit n Spin

Word is he's single again, surprise ! Watch yourself "ladies" !

BytheBy

Why do you care?

Oh yeah, that's right!

pavedparadise

Flashback to the original Sandusky Register article.

www.sanduskyregister.com/article...

Note the threat to possibly shoot was made to the investigating officer not the other officer involved.

One's away from work life (including sex) is no-one's business. As for the threat, well if there was an existing history of such in his file, that would be one thing but if his record file was clean or nearly clean, thank goodness for arbitration.

www.sanduskyregister.com/article...

Sit n Spin

Really ? Its Ok to threaten to shoot someone if you have never done it before ? If Mr. Citizen does this he would be charged ! This tool gets nothing but "Its Ok Stevie just don't don't do it again & start thinking with the head on your shoulders." All is forgiven, carry on !

pavedparadise

I wouldn't know either officer on the street if they walked in front of me. Obviously you would based on your stated knowledge of the officer involved.

All I'm saying is, according to the previous Register article, he made the comment to the investigating officer (out of heat of emotion) not the other officer involved.

If this officer is as bad as you state, it's just a matter of time before more incidents find their way to his file with reason to terminate.

pavedparadise

Wow. This woman has an impressive resume including arbitrator and a judge to boot.

Julie R.

Wow. This woman sure is expensive. She charges a thousand dollars a day, plus the cost of airfare, hotels, food and rental cars.

grinenbareit

I hope Todd Smith gets his job back! Seems like he was more honest in this situation then Ritterbach was.

lor70

The city manager is just too eager to fire people....look at the city worker that is now suing the city for his job back. I'm not saying what either one of these officers did was right...not condoning their behavior in any way....there should've been discipline for sure. But she should've done a little more investigation in finding out how likely it would've been for them to get their job back! I've said this before and I will say it again....she has a "holier than thou" attitude that is going to come back and bite our city in the butt! I say we need new city management!! Our city is looking like a real joke!!

Really are you ...

So if Sgt. Ritterbach responds to a call that a guy just shot his wife for having an affair on him. What does he do? You are under arrest? Or throw his arm over the guys shoulder, "I know where you are coming from..." Lol! Just saying.

Sit n Spin

Hahaha ! Good one ! Sad but soooo true !

Darkhorse

The city needs a good union contract that will not embarrass the city and keep officers from coming back and embarrassing the very uniform they service. We don't need a contract that will protect an officer that brings a black eye to the department and makes the department look like a class one comedy act. It is not the City Manager's fault but the loop holes in the contract that allow inappropriate behavior bringing dishonor to the uniform. The union has to recognize this fact when redoing their contract. The department needs to be cleaned up but the contract is not allowing the city to weed out the officers who are bringing dishonor to the department with inappropriate behavior. The private sector does not permit such bahavior while employed anywhere and neither should the union or the city.

Sit n Spin

Very well said dark horse. When you wear the badge you are & should be held to a higher standard, on & off the clock. This little man is a disgrace to us men/women that consider it an honor / privilege to wear the uniform/badge, not a right. Someone needs to take a good, long, hard look in the mirror and make some life changes.

BytheBy

"Little man"?
YEP, you are a disgraced lover who was apparently dumped by this officer.

Holding grudges does no one any good.

Sit n Spin

Haha haha good one....He wouldnt have a shot at me even if he was the last "man" on earth & I had a never ending supply of penicillin ! I would have never been involved with such an individual as this. I can judge a persons' character and moral values very well. This "little man" is an easy read...he cares about himself, period. He probably never gets tired of looking in the mirror !

twosenseworth

Sometimes I just sit and wonder where you come up with these comments, Darkhorse. You imply that the union contract is pure evil. The fact of the matter is that as the result of collective bargaining, both sides involved in the negotiating process come to an agreement based on the terms and language in the written contract. From what I've read here, you would want your supporters to believe that the city has no voice in the process, which is completely wrong. If the city wants to strengthen their position in the contract, they have the means to make it happen. The idea of "weeding out" bad eggs within the work force is exactly why a contract, properly worded to protect every member of the bargaining unit, is necessary and essential.

wiredmama222

@twosenseworth....I understand what you are saying to a point. Perhaps the answer is to have a principals and practices statement that all of the officers must sign when they come to work for the SPD. That becomes part of their employment record. These are the rules of your employment....break them and you are fired. It is that simple. That makes the arbitration a very simple process and everyone is on the same page. If the officer goes off the page, he or she has no recourse and they know exactly what will happen. You screw up and you are gone.

That way there is no question when the office has broken faith with his or her conduct. That would "weed out the bad eggs" as you say, would it not?

twosenseworth

@wiredmama222
Clearly, you do not understand me at all.

wiredmama222

@twosensworth...ok, then explain your point of view so I can understand it.

wiredmama222

@darkhorse....well said

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