SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) – The Clark County Deputy who was fired after an incident in the lobby of the Clark County jail has been awarded her job back after arbitration.
Sergeant Carrie Taylor was fired in October after an incident involving a former deputy who was found drunk in the lobby of the Clark County Jail. That incident happened in May.
Taylor was terminated with two others after an internal investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office into how the incident, which was all captured on video, was handled by the deputies.
The investigation started after a man was seen on camera intoxicated in the lobby of the jail. 2 NEWS obtained a video from a witness that shows former Clark County Deputy Christopher Dent intoxicated. When a witness tried to help Dent get up from the floor a fight began.
Sheriff Kelly said at the time he believed Dent was crying out for help.
Surveillance video of the incident shows a deputy walking past the scene without intervening. From that video it appears it took 15 minutes for someone with the Sheriff’s Office to address Dent.
Tuesday, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office received the results of the arbitration concerning the firing of Sgt. Carrie Taylor’s employment.
The arbitrator found that Sgt. Taylor had committed gross employee misconduct and that she had violated numerous work rules of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The opinion states, “In view of all the circumstances presented, including the appearance of favoritism toward Dent, his potentially dangerous state of inebriation, and the presence of urine on the floor of lobby creating a public health hazard, the Grievant, as a commanding officer, was obligated to take action despite the fact that she was not the first officer to take command of the situation. Her failure to do so was gross misconduct which warrants disciplinary action.”
The arbitrator found that Taylor was not as culpable as the other two Sergeants involved and did not deserve to be fired for her actions. The arbitrator ruled that Sgt. Taylor should receive a significant suspension lasting from the date of the original termination to her reinstatement. This amounts to a suspension that is just over a year in length.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly said in an email Tuesday, “While I am disappointed that the arbitrator did not completely uphold the discipline that was issued to Sgt. Taylor, I am pleased that the arbitrator did grasp the seriousness of the failure of all three Sergeants, including Sgt. Taylor, to appropriately handle Mr. Dent in the lobby. As the Sheriff of Clark County, I will continue to hold my employees accountable to their most basic duty of protecting and serving the citizens of Clark County.”
Sergeants Krista Cox and Eric Sullivan were also fired after an internal investigation into dereliction of duty.