Newell: Holliday was paid $176K to stay home

PARKERSBURG – A now-fired Parkersburg police officer received more than $176,000 in pay and benefits during his three-year suspension from the force.

Mayor Bob Newell said Floyd Holliday earned $176,185 in salary and benefits after his firing was overturned in 2010 by the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission.

That pay ended last week when Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Reed issued a ruling upholding the firing and saying the commission overstepped its authority.

Newell said due to the ongoing legal battle, Holliday continued to draw a salary and benefits, as per state law. Newell said that amount also includes the $2 an hour pay increase for police approved earlier this year by City Council

Holliday “got that raise, just like everyone else,” Newell said.

In addition to pay and benefits, Newell said the city paid $6,440 to cover Holliday’s attorney fees during the time period between his initial firing in June 2010 and the commission’s decision to reinstate him in December 2010.

“We had to give him back pay and attorney fees,” he said. “The back pay was part of that initial $176,185 number I gave.”

Newell said the money paid to Holliday is, for the most part, simply gone.

“It’s likely we won’t be able to recoup any of that money,” Newell said.

Holliday was fired by the city in June 2010 for the alleged theft of items after a traffic stop and for also allegedly downloading pornography onto another officer’s laptop computer. In December 2010, the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission by a 2-1 vote overturned the firing. The commission did not dispute the alleged acts by Holliday, but stated “his conduct did not rise to the level to warrant termination.”

Last week Reed issued a ruling, saying the commission had “abused its discretion” and upheld Holliday’s termination.

Holliday’s attorney, George Cosenza, said last week he and his client would decide in the coming weeks whether to take the case to the state Supreme Court of Appeals.