Police sergeant gets second chance plus $50,000

Matt Westerhold
Feb 15, 2013

There has to be a better way to manage a staff. An arbitrator's decision will cost city taxpayers $50,000 and a police sergeant gets his job back. 

The story is on page A2 in today's e*Paper and the ruling from a state arbitrator will get posted at sanduskyregister.com later today. 

The Sandusky Police Department deserves credit for working to improve services and discipline among its ranks. But maybe police Sgt. Steve Ritterbach deserves a second chance on the force and the same might be true for SPD officer Todd Smith. Both were fired last year after a sexting, texting and threats incident involving them and Ritterbach's new wife. 

Maybe they don't deserve their jobs back.

Who knows?

But taxpayers know — and commissioners would be well served to learn — that spending $100,000 on failed disciplinary actions is not a wise use of the public's money, and there's likely to be additional expense when city attorneys mail their invoices to taxpayers. Taxpayers deserve to hear from the city manager what the city can do, and what it is doing, to address the serious shortcomings of city management and structure that results six-digit losses. Residents deserve to know what is being done to serve the worthy goals established for the city manager. 

If that public money were properly spent it could have brought down 10 abandoned homes in Sandusky neighborhoods and improved the quality of life for hundreds of residents. It could have been spent to clean the giant toilet that the old Surf's Up pool has become; it could have been spent to cut down 100 dead city trees; it could have been donated to a homeless shelter.

There are a hundred better ways to spend $100,000.



@Julie....my point exactly....they haven't. And I, for one, would like an accounting as to WHY? It seems to me that the legal department is not doing their job at all. Not at all.


Greg Stookey. The city won that one. Wasn't to hard for them.

Sit n Spin

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Libel and defamation.

Dont Worry Be Happy


Pastor Ron

Looks like another costly mistake by team Iscman and Ard. Seriously, at what point do mistakes like theirs result in consequences?


Good question. They like to fire people so readily.......who gets to decide if they get fired?

entitled to my ...

I think it goes to Iscman for "legal" advice then Ard makes the final decision. Not entirely for sure if Police Chief has any say or not, ultimately, the City Manager makes the decision.


Not by Ard, but just by Icsman who is the legal brainchild. He has NEVER won an arbitration case for this city and I am beginning to wonder why that is? It isn't her fault. This has been going on LONG before she came here. Check the facts.

BW1's picture

Icsman works for her. You said it in another thread - she's the boss of everything, thus, the buck stops with her. You can't have it both ways.


Ah, but HE is the one giving the legal advice is he not? Sooooo what advice did he give her? That she could go ahead and fire this guy and she did on his say so?

Listen, if I was in her shoes and I had someone giving me bad advice and I was depending on that advice and it was wrong, that guy would be so gone....it wouldn't be funny. If we were supposed to be working as a "team" like all of YOU claim it is, then what is going on here? Are they deliberately doing this?

All of YOU claim this is a democracy so why is HE not all alone wrong on this? You all explain YOUR sides now? Why isn't HE clearly at fault since you want to claim the system of checks and balances and a democracy run by this system....lets hear it?

BW1's picture

You and all the others who waxed positively messianic about Ard at the time of her coronation went on at length about the value of a "professional" city manager with all sorts of fancy credentials, and now you want to portray her as some ignoramus helplessly dependent upon Icsman to pull her puppet strings? MAKE UP YOUR MIND! Is she the all-knowing divine gift to city government that you portray in other threads, or is she the hapless, confused ingenue you portray here, completely dependent upon Icsman to show her how to pour sand out of her shoe?

Anyone who calls themselves a PROFESSIONAL municipal administrator should be able to read a collective bargaining agreement and figure out the proper procedure. I've seen shop stewards who didn't finish high school who knew their contract backwards and forwards and the ins and outs of every little gotcha it contained.

"Why isn't HE clearly at fault since you want to claim the system of checks and balances and a democracy run by this system."

Because, as I've pointed out on multiple occasions, in the City Manager system, there ARE NO checks and balances, because there is no separation of powers. And yet, you've aggressively defended that system, not comprehending how it runs counter to principles you've espoused here in the past.



If my mind serves me right, Icsman farms out these type high profile items so the finger can't be pointed at him when things go sour.


Oh, nice try....the buck stops with him. He IS responsible. It's his job. Its the system of checks and balances in your wonderful democaracy you all rant and rave over....remember?????

This isn't the first time. It happened with money with the last City Manager too, did it not? And the one before? What the heck is going on here? Seems to me we are getting rid of the wrong people here.

entitled to my ...

AMEN, wiredmama222, AMEN!!!!!

BW1's picture

@wiredmama : "Its the system of checks and balances in your wonderful democaracy"

You keep repeating that phrase like some sort of incantation. If you actually understood it, you'd know it has no relevance or application in this context.