Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ohio's Cowardly Governor Ted Strickland Orders Termination Of Two Ohio State Troopers Who Were Involved In MLK Day KKK Photo Stunt

As previously discussed HERE, three Ohio State Troopers were disciplined in early April 2008 for having participated in a "KKK photo stunt" in which one trooper donned a "Klan hood" and another took a picture and transmitted in to a third trooper. Then-Sergeant Eric E. Wlodarsky, who took and transmitted the photo, was demoted to trooper, reassigned, and ordered to undergo diversity re-education, Trooper Craig T. Franklin, who posed for the photo, was suspended for five days and ordered to undergo diversity re-education. Sergeant Jason P. Demuth at the Norwalk post, who forwarded the photo to dispatcher Gaby Highlander, was suspended for one day (Highlander was not punished).

The union contract allowed a last-chance opportunity to stay on the job. The troopers had no record of any racial incidents. By their admission, it was merely a prank modeled after a similar skit by black comedian Dave Chapelle. But apparently, this was insufficient for Ohio's politically-correct Governor Ted Strickland, who has now ordered the two primary players to be fired after his own "investigation". Full story published by ABC News. Discussion on Stormfront.

From the get-go, Strickland was determined to stick his big nose into the affair. He met in late April with the state's public safety director and the head of the state patrol to discuss the internal investigation. "This morning, Strickland determined that the sanctions which had been imposed by the Patrol were inadequate," according to an April 22nd release from the governor's office, "and he asked … to immediately begin the proceedings to terminate the employment of the trooper and the sergeant involved."

And so on Monday May 5th, the highway patrol announced that Craig Franklin and Eric Wlodarsky have been fired for the photo. "There was just cause for discipline and the termination was carried through," patrol spokesman Anthony Bradshaw said.

According to a May 5th story in the Sandusky Register, Wlodarsky would not say what his next move is, but did apologize for his role in the incident. "We've been punished and we've lost our jobs over it," he said. "We're very remorseful."

The two troopers or their union could initiate an arbitration process within 14 days to try to get their jobs reinstated. A message left for Elaine Silveria, assistant general counsel for the Ohio State Troopers Association was not returned. Silveria previously said Strickland's order was a "blatant breach of contract."

And a May 7th story in the Toledo Blade reveals that Wlodarsky and Franklin have indeed filed grievances claiming the state unfairly revoked terms of a "last-chance" agreement allowing them to retain their jobs after this incident. As a result, their firing is now on hold and they have been on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the grievance hearings, expected to take place in June.

Larry Phillips, president of the Ohio State Troopers Association, said the "last-chance" agreement, signed April 3rd, is binding and the Ohio Highway Patrol should adhere to the terms originally agreed upon. "Nowhere in our contract and nowhere in Ohio's collective bargaining law does it say that once [the agreements] are signed, they can be revoked," he said. "If they wanted to change their mind, they should have done it before they signed it." Mr. Phillips said the troopers should be reinstated to their positions as outlined in the agreement.

Commentary: The existence of any "agreement" is not necessarily a bar to its abrogation in cases of politically-motivated termination of employment. For example, in Nebraska, an arbitrator ordered that former State Trooper Robert Henderson be reinstated after being wrongfully terminated. However, Attorney General Jon Bruning appealed the "binding arbitration", and, incredibly, a judge upheld Henderson's termination. So, if you're white, and they want to bend the rules to screw you over a racial issue, they will.

Governor Strickland has been spoken of as a possible VP nominee. Undoubtedly, by ordering the firing of these two troopers, he's probably scored some brownie points with mulatto Presidential candidate Barack Obama. If you want to let Governor Strickland know how you feel about this injustice:

Click HERE to send him a message.

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