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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

Judge rules Toledo police officers can remain in homes outside city


Two rookie Toledo police officers will be allowed to stay in their homes outside the city limits after a Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge ruled in favor of a preliminary injunction that prevents the city from firing them.

Officers Aaron Riter and Joe Okos, both September graduates of the police academy, received letters last month from the city that said they would lose their jobs effective Saturday if they did not move within the city limits.

Judge James Jensen issued a temporary restraining order April 19 preventing the city from firing the officers, saying that the city s action violated state law and the Ohio Constitution.

This afternoon, he ruled that the order be held in effect until the issue of residency requirements is settled, most likely by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Currently, the Toledo City Charter requires that employees must live within the city limits. City attorneys argued that allowing employees to live outside the limits would hinder safety because it would add to response times in emergencies.

The city filed a lawsuit against the State of Ohio in April, 2006, asking that the judge rule in favor of home rule. Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick McDonald has yet to issue a ruling on the case.

This afternoon, Judge Jensen said that the case before Judge McDonald will ultimately determine the outcome of the officers lawsuit. He said until a final decision is rendered, the officers living situation should remain status quo.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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