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Published: Wednesday, 2/27/2013

Former kennel worker at dog warden's office reinstated as a Lucas County employee

Nova. Nova.
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A former kennel worker at the Lucas County Dog Warden's office who was fired after a video showed what authorities believed to be the inappropriate handling of a dog, has been reinstated as a Lucas County employee.

The grievance settlement, approved by the Lucas County commissioners Tuesday, demotes Aaron Nova to a vacant full-time custodial worker in the Lucas County Facilities Department. He will fill a position that has not yet been posted and his rate of pay will be reduced to $13.11 per hour, compared to the $16.25 he was making when he was dismissed from the pound.

He agreed to a permanent restriction that prevents him from bidding on or entering into any position at the Lucas County Dog Warden for the life of his remaining employment with the county. He also agreed to participate in an Employee Assistance Program assessment, to be scheduled by the Human Resources Department.

Mr. Nova, of Lake Township, who had worked at the pound since June 26, 2006, was placed on paid administrative leave Aug. 7 after he was caught on videotape picking up a dog in a chokehold, slamming it against a kennel door, and throwing it into a kennel. The leave changed to unpaid after he was jailed on a probation violation for a previous domestic violence charge. He was terminated Oct. 5.

The agreement changes the the termination to a suspension without pay from Oct. 5 to March 3 for the charges of neglect of duty, failure to follow established procedures, and failure of good behavior.

Mr. Nova, of 2635 Moline-Martin Rd., was charged with one count of misdemeanor animal cruelty and was acquitted Jan. 15 after Toledo Municipal Court Judge Timothy Kulhman read the statute Mr. Nova was charged under and then stated that he did not believe Mr. Nova's behavior rose to the level of animal cruelty.

The judge said the main sticking point legally was that there was no evidence that the animal was injured.

Contact Tanya Irwin at tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066.

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