We hear about stories involving police officers in the news every day. While the stories do vary, they generally involve an officer either engaging in a heroic act that helped save a life or a crooked cop who wrongfully arrested someone after planting evidence in order to justify their actions. But very seldom do we hear about police turning in members of their own force who have committed crimes of their own. But, just recently this type of story came across news headlines and now, the officer who called out his own police chief among others bearing the badge on their uniform is fighting to keep his job.
The fact is, every police officer has a job to do when they agree to take on the task of being an officer. Their duty is to patrol the city or county in which they work for and help prevent and stop crime from happening. Of course, there are some other tasks police are required to take on, but the most important is helping to reduce the crime level that, in turn, can make the city a safer place for everyone. But when New Holland Police Sergeant Brad Mick did this, he “crossed a thin blue line” according to The Free Thought Project and that cost him his job.
Here’s what happened and why Mick is now fighting to get his job back.
On July 18, 2018, Mick came across a paper that had been faxed but may have had a forged signature on it. When he began looking into it, he realized that the person who had “signed” the document was in Alabama at the time, not in Ohio. And when he went back and compared past signatures with the one on the document, he realized it had been forged. After discovering this, Mick decided to obtain a search warrant, and with the help of the Ohio Highway Patrol and the Pickaway County Sheriff’s office, he raided his department.
He later filed charges against the mayor, police chief, and the former police chief. But, he also did something to help cover himself. Mick filed a “whistleblower protection affidavit” that stated, “Pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Act of Ohio and Revised Code 4113.52, let this serve as my notification that I believe felonies are being committed by New Holland Mayor Clair ‘Butch’ Betzko and New Holland Village Marshal David Conrad. Pursuant to R.C. 4113.52(A)(1)(a), this is my complaint. The village and its administration are hereby put on notice that you are barred from seeking retaliatory measures against me, including but not limited to:
- Removing or suspending the employee from employment.
- Withholding from the employee salary increases or employee benefits to which the employee is otherwise entitled.
- Transferring or reassigning the employee.
- Denying the employee a promotion that otherwise would have been received.
- Reducing the employee in pay or position.”
Shortly after Mick called out some of the city’s most powerful employees, he was handed a termination letter “with no cited cause for his firing.” But, because Mick took the initiative and filed the affidavit prior to him being fired, one Ohio employment law lawyer believes he “has grounds for a lawsuit” and could have his job reinstated.
If you have been fired from your job as a form of retaliation, now would be a good time to contact an employment and labor law attorney in your area.
Although it isn’t clear what the outcome of this case may be, one thing that is, is that this officer wasn’t fearful of calling out a criminal, even if that criminal happened to be his boss. Unfortunately, there are plenty of employees out there who have been wrongfully terminated because they called out their employer, but often don’t know what to do after or what their legal rights are.
So, if you have been fired from your job without being given a valid reason or you believe it was a form of retaliation, contact USAttorneys.com so that we can connect you with an Ohio employment law attorney who can review with you what your rights are and even assist you with taking the legal action that could help you get your job back.