Sandusky ordered to rehire fired police officer

Arbitrator rules he was wrongfully terminated and is due back pay for time off
Andy Ouriel
Apr 19, 2013

Sandusky officials fired police Officer Todd Smith in April 2012 for allegedly exchanging nude photos with a supervisor’s wife via text messaging.

An arbitrator ruled Smith should be returned to the force and receive back pay for his out-of-work period.

Arbitrator Robert Stein’s report said the exchange of nude photos doesn’t violate city policy, nor did it stop Smith from fulfilling his police duties.

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entitled to my ...

Does anybody know if the City is going to waste more money and appeal the decision? And I, too, like my policemen to have morals and ethics, however, that being said, ALL parties involved were consenting adults. The only laws that were broken were God's laws.....


Yes it is common knowledge that ard is appealing this, the court will NOT overturn this and it will cost taxpayers anotherb$15-$20k to appeal, plus they will be paying him back pay from this date on, great move Nicole!!

John Harville

Ard can appeal without commission approval of the expenditure?

Now The Rest of...

Binding arbitration is not appealable unless there is prior agreement in the union contract, hence the term "binding" arbitration...


I hear to save money she's going to submit the appeal in crayon on a McDonalds napkin.


this guy is a joke and should have been fired, why would anyone stick up for him, he took inappropriate pics to work, not to mention they were of his superviser's wife, just wrong. if this all happened outside of work, then fine no problem, but the guy is still a dirtbag. i have no respect for him and if i ever see him, will let him know that, but he will probably play "i am a cop you better respect me" card. sorry but trash like you don't deserve respect


Those of us who care about Todd, know that he is NOT a dirtbag! He made a mistake and paid his dues! I am in no way condoning his behavior, but I have a feeling whoever you are Buckeye_Nation, he doesn't really care if he has your respect or not! He knows who is on his side and that is all that matters!


If I'm not mistaken he didn't take or show them at work. They were sent to him by the Sgts wife who the Sgt. wanted Smith to have sex with.


Sounds like someone has a bit of a personal vendetta against this guy...this post sounds like it should be written in the manner of, "gee Billy, if I ever see that boy im gonna tell him who's who, that'll show him!!" Plus I think I know who YOU are, if you are who I think you are, im guessing I would place a bet on you never telling any MAN anything to his face...regardless of what "card" he pulled


LOL!! Good one WhyRweHere! I think I may know who it is....and if I'm hit the nail right on the head!


and to lor70, how old are you, because you sound like the little kid in school who had the big friends to stick up for and defend him, because he liked to run his mouth, "heheheh good one buddy, you really showed him, now let me go back to being your little lapdog".


i doubt you know who i am, but good for you for thinking that you "know" something, because "gee Billy, you really sound like an idiot" try not to overwork yourself by thinking too hard if you know who "I" am.

entitled to my ...

What I don't understand is, why go through the process (and cost) of arbitration if the ruling can be appealed? I agree with JohnDorian12, the court will abide by the arbitrator's decision, so why even bother?


I have had dealings with arbitrators in the past. In all the cases I have been involved with both parties agree that the decision made is legal, final and binding. This is agreed upon before moving forward with the case. The Arbitrator is usually a retired judge or attorney that both sides agree upon. If the officer would have lost, he wouldn't have the luxury of an appeal. So for Ard to appeal the Arbitrator's ruling tells the taxpayers that she is remedial in her duties as a city manager and has no regard for the waste full spending of taxpayers monies. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe she has another scrap of paper in her pocket like the one that magically balanced the city budget only this one would say AH WE HAVE 20 GRAND JUST LYING HERE, LET'S SPEND IT ON MORE LEGAL FEES INSTEAD OF USING OUR HEADS AS A DOOR STOP!!

Julie R.

"The Arbitrator is usually a retired judge or attorney that both sides agree upon."

This is true. It's why I'm still trying to figure out why Ron Bailey went along with using Erie County's favorite rent-a-judge Joseph Cirigliano in the Nuesse case.


In my opinion, Smith behaved in such a manner -- one involving a fellow employee -- that it absolutely warranted termination. The problem? His acts didn't fall within the parameters set for termination contractually speaking. The City, while the firing is obviously tempting, should have known better!

Helpful note to City Human Resources: AMEND THE FREAKING CONTRACT! All of these "wrongful terminations" are wasting money that could be much better spent elsewhere.

Helpful note to the Union: STOP DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE! It only makes those of us who have a poor opinion of unions in general realize just how right we are.

John Harville

Samandaaaa... Congratulations! Another opportunity for you to attack unions.

Suppose someone alerts your boss to your identity on here and things you write and your employer fires you?


I'm not attacking unions per se, but rather the kind of thing they've become. A union, for example, took down Hostess rather than make necessary concessions. A union HERE has obviously defended dirty pictures being sent to the spouse of a co-worker. When unions defend safety, I'm for them. When unions address LEGITIMATE discrimination, I'm for them. In these cases? Not so much.

As for my boss firing me, well, there's one SURE thing: If I ever sent naked pics of myself to my boss or my boss's spouse, I WOULD be fired. And I'd deserve to be.


It was my understanding that Ritterbach's wife was the one who started the "sexting", with Ritterbach's approval. I really don't understand anyone who sends nude pictures of themselves, but this whole thing was between three consenting adults. Tacky in the extreme, but perfectly legal. Ritterbach apparently had no problems with sex between his wife and Smith, but didn't want texting! It is like a bad soap opera, but personal disagreements between the officers didn't warrant termination. The whole situation is tacky, but Ard needs to let it go.



Take some time and read up on Hostess. You'll find out you are very wrong.



John Doe and Billy Bob work in a factory with 300 employees. John Doe has a flirtatious relation ship, and may lead to promiscuity, with Billy Bob's wife. Billy Bob finds out and threatens John Doe while at work. Do they get fired, reprimanded or separated to different work areas for something non-work related?

Common sense says they are both called into supervisions office separately and counseled or given time off(amount of time dependent upon severity) but not fired.


Since so far it's unions:2 city:0 what u think is indefensible is very defensible.


At first I thought this sounded all wrong. BUT when you think it has certain elements similar to the Fred Fox situation in Huron Schools. In this one the City of Sandusky will probably rehire him and avoid further legal legation but in Huron they chose to ignore the ruling and face more leagl battles and legal costs.

Was this not the same officer who had the accident and I am thinking like 2 in a city police car. He did huge damage to one of Sandusky like then new Chevy's when he plowed into the side of an innocent lady driving a SUV? Maybe I am wrong was another officer.

My question is it seems like Sandusky had gotten several of these firing wrong. Where are the legal guidance the City of Sandusky retains. Don't these folks know the law or are they using a different set of law books. There has been several cases where they have gotten it all wrong. I think it time to take a very hard look at the legal advice the City of Sandusky is getting and maybe its time for a change.


This is not the same officer.


Did u see the budget? Submitted on notebook paper. Can you really be surprised?

John Harville

Did all this nude texting occur on a CITY-OWNED computer?
Did either of the TWO parties involved object = as in the case of Wiener's wierner?
If YOUR boss finds out you've been sexting with his/her love interest, is it okay to fire you? Or just beat your asp?

Don't argue for privacy on one hand then argue the right to check someone's email and take job action.

Oh... but why not? Yawl are soooo good at the hypocrisy thing.


tsk tsk


It was on personal cell phones. Both Smith and the Sgt's wife were willing participants. The Sgt started this whole thing when he asked Smith to sleep with his wife.


lets see ard compensate for this in the budget... sexting is not a crime especially when its your own hotdog you are sending without the bun


lets not forget what the supervisor originally asked smith to do with his wife, then gets mad about texts and threatens to shoot him because of them, what would he have done had smith agreed to the original proposition, read the story people...