Sandusky police supervisor demoted

An arbitrator ruled the city was wrong in firing Sandusky police Sgt. Steve Ritterbach, but OK'd a demotion for the officer.
Feb 22, 2013


“In light of the poor judgment with respect t o a subordinate that (Ritterbach) exhibited, arbitrators generally would find that the city would be within its rights to demote (Ritterbach) from his supervisory position,” Mary Jo Schiavoni,  an arbitrator, wrote in her report. “It is concluded that (Ritterbach’s) lack of judgement...calls into serious question his ability to function as a supervisor in the department.”

A arbitrator's decision reinstate includes a provision for backpay. He’ll receive at least $50,000 for the time he's been on leave since March.


Click here to read the arbitrator's decision. 


Click here for the story about the love triangle that led to Ritterbach's firing. 


Click here for the e*Paper or buy a Register at a newsstand near you to learn more about the demotion. 


entitled to my ...

He should be demoted! Also, I do not believe the assumption that he is getting "at least $50,000" is correct. If he got another job, or received unemployment, I am pretty sure that money will be deducted from any settlement that he will receive. I have a real problem with the SR only reporting half the truth!


he'll get his back pay in full from the city. i doubt he got unemployment and another job would not matter.

entitled to my ...

richrs: You are wrong! Any money he earned from any resource will be deducted from his settlement. Its just the way it is. The SR should check with the Finance Department, they will confirm it!


So what you're saying is that if they wouldn't have fired him in error and he would've picked up a part time job that they would get to deduct what he makes on his PT job from what the city would pay him? I'm not saying that you're wrong, but that just bites. Though I guess that's what happens when you work for the city. BOHICA!

entitled to my ...

richrs: No, I believe the City has to make them "whole" if they are fired and reinstated with back pay. So any money made while they are terminated is deducted from their settlement if they are reinstated with back pay. I am sure there are Police Officers that have part time jobs on the side, and the City has nothing to do with THAT money they earn. I am talking about ONLY the money that is earned while they are fired, BEFORE they are given their jobs back through arbitration. I don't know about their vacation, holiday, or sick time, I am only talking about their salary.


If he filed for unemployment and received it, there should be an issue of the government going after the return of the unemployment he received. It is a wise move to demote him. The union contract has to be fixed so as to prevent this from happening again. The union should not be protecting inappropriate behavior that would not be allowed in the private sector, nor should the contract protect officers who embarrass the department.


I wonder why that wasn't mentioned when the SR mentioned he was being reinstated. Its pretty obvious it was part of the entire thing, so how could they not have known that the recommendation was to "demote" him as well?

Strange, he will have to now be "one of the guys" instead of a supervisor and that cannot be too good for him. I imagine the new supervisor will be watching him pretty closely as to his employment "etiquette" from here on out.


Tidbits of info.

1). Perhaps the Register did not have the arbitrator's final report at the time of the original article.

2). Take note of the City's Legal Council listed at the top of the arbitrator's letter. No blaming Mr. Icsman here. Advice on firing and following proceedings were given by outside legal council.

3). While he may or may not have to repay unemployment, he will not have to have pay deducted from the settlement if he was employed elsewhere during his firing.

4). A demotion does not necessarily mean a demotion in his continuing wages moving forward.

entitled to my ...

pavedparadise: Any money he earned while he was fired, will be deducted from his settlement. The City has to pay him the DIFFERENCE between what he earned working or through unemployment, from what he would have earned if he had not been fired. I am 100% sure about this. And again, very easy for the SR to find out by calling the Finance Department at the City. Example: If he earned $30,000 during the last 10 months, the City will pay him $20,000- NOT $50,000. In my opinion, that is the way it should be.


What happens if he made more the $50,000, Does he pay the city back any amount that is over?


Don't this make a union a good thing? NOT How many times has a officer who's wrong doing should fire him or her, been rehired? What about Mr. Miller, shouldn't he have a chance to be rehired?


we just have to get used to these people taking care of each other. your wife cheats on you then you get a year paid vacation. WOW..


@ Entitled....yes,you are 100% correct on this.


Unfortunately, Mr. Miller is not in a union or he probably would get his job back, no doubt.


Unless I'm missing something here,I don't see why he was fired in the first place. Someone sends your wife a pic like that... what would YOU do?? Just sayin'.

Julie R.

Personally, I think what they ALL need to do --- the two cops and the wife -- is grow up already and stop acting like a bunch of teen-agers.


AND repect your authoritaaaaay.


Well when you let your wife sleep with other guys while you watch, do you really expect her to be a loyal loving wife?? He was ok with the other guy sleeping with his wife while he observed, but a picture crosses the line?? Really? Things that make you say Hmmmmmmmmmmmm