A civil lawsuit filed more than a year ago by a Greenfield police sergeant against the village for his being excluded from testing for the chief of police position a second time has been decided with the court in a summary judgement finding in favor of the village.
As previously reported, Greenfield Police Sgt. Gary Schraw filed the complaint on Oct. 8, 2015. It stated that the village of Greenfield, its then-chief of police Tim Hester, who is now retired, and the village’s Civil Service Commission had violated Schraw’s right to sit for a second test for the chief of police position after a first examination resulted in no one passing. The complaint alleged that the material for the second exam was modified from the first test, and that modification excluded Schraw.
Since the filing of the case, a temporary restraining order was issued to prevent the Civil Service Commission from opening test scores, amended complaints were filed, parties were added to the case, cross and counter claims were filed, motions were filed, and arguments were heard.
In June 2016, the Greenfield Village Council voted unanimously to abolish the village’s Civil Service Commission. According to council chair Betty Jackman at that time, as a village Greenfield is not required to have a Civil Service Commission.
Records show a summary judgement was filed on the civil suit with the Highland Clerk of Courts on Oct. 14, 2016.
In that judgement, Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss states, “The object of the complaint was to prevent the Civil Service Commission from certifying a name to the village for appointment as chief of police and to require it to administer a new test that (Schraw) would be permitted to take.”
But with the Civil Service Commission in Greenfield having been abolished, Coss wrote, the village can now appoint a chief of police as Ohio’s Civil Service laws no longer apply to the village.
According to the document, Schraw is now in the same position as any other person that the village of Greenfield can consider to fill the position of chief of police.
Sgt. Jeremiah Oyer has been acting chief since Hester retired last December.
At Greenfield Village Council’s meeting on Wednesday, there was no discussion on the litigation or the summary judgement.
According to Greenfield Law Director Brian Zets, Schraw has 30 days to file an appeal.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.