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Friday, July 12, 2013

Acquitted officer petitions for his job back, arbitration expected in September

Posted By on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Former city police officer Garrett Brown — who was acquitted of insurance fraud on May 20, has formally petitioned the city to get his job back.

Brown, 42, was charged with lying to insurance investigators when he claimed he was rear-ended by a donut delivery truck driven by Blaine Johnston and Matt Mazzie on Nov. 18, 2010. Johnston and Mazzie contended— both in a 2011 City Paper story and a non-jury trial in May before Common Pleas Judge Jill Rangos — that Brown chased them in his pick-up truck and confronted them without ever identifying himself as an off-duty police officer.

Rangos ultimately ruled there were too many conflicting accounts about what happened that night to uphold the charges against Brown, who'd worked in the traffic division.

Brown was terminated from the police force in September 2011 because of the incident, and Mike Huss, the city's public-safety director, previously told City Paper "we have no intention of reversing our position."

According to solicitor Dan Regan, through a statement emailed by mayoral spokeswoman Marissa Doyle, Brown had appealed his discharge but the appeal was stayed pending outcome of his criminal case. The Fraternal Order of Police, according to Regan, is proceeding with appeal of the discharge. The case will go before a panel of arbiters — one appointed by the FOP, one appointed by the city and one neutral — in September, who will issue a ruling.

Police spokeswoman Diane Richard had no comment.

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