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Published: 7/31/2004

Fostoria police chief faces hearing

BY STEVE MURPHY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FOSTORIA - The city's longtime police chief, who has been suspended twice in the last three years, is facing a predisciplinary hearing Monday on undisclosed allegations of misconduct.

Chief Dennis Day was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday afternoon after Safety-Service Director Ralph Wise completed an investigation into seven charges against him, Mayor John Davoli said yesterday.

"Out of respect to the chief, those won't be made public until after the presdisciplinary hearing Monday," the mayor said. "I think everything is cut and dried, but I'll hear what they have to say."

Mr. Wise said Sgt. Bill Brenner was named acting chief "through the end of the week," because day shift Capt. Rodger Wilson is on vacation until tomorrow.

Chief Day, who has headed the Fostoria police department since 1991, could be in danger of losing his job under the city's progressive discipline policy. The chief was previously suspended in November, 2002, for "discourteous treatment of the public" and in September, 2001, on allegations of stalking and harassing his estranged wife, according to city records.

He could not be reached yesterday.

The 2002 discipline was a "working suspension" of 15 days that the Fostoria Civil Service Commission reduced in May, 2003, to five days. The commission also reduced the 2001 suspension, from 15 days to three days.

At the time the Civil Service Commission reduced Chief Day's second suspension, Mr. Wise told The Blade that a third serious incident would result in the chief's dismissal. "Either way, there's nowhere to go but removal, according to the city's personnel policy manual," he said.

Yesterday, Mr. Wise declined to discuss whether the chief could face termination after Monday's hearing.

"At this point, all we have is somebody on a paid administrative leave," he said. "The person has the ability to answer any questions, to clear up things. There still may be nothing that rises to the level that we talked about."

Besides the suspensions, Chief Day received two letters of reprimand from Mr. Wise in 2001 for what the safety-service director called his "unacceptable" job performance in failing to carry out directives from his superiors.

"We have done progressive discipline," Mr. Davoli said. That's very important in these types of situations."

Mr. Wise said Dean Henry, a Tiffin attorney, would represent Chief Day at Monday's hearing, which will be conducted by the city's management consultant, Clemans, Nelson & Associates.

Contact Steve Murphy at:

smurphy@theblade.com

or 419-724-6078.



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