PARKERSBURG - A Wood County Circuit Court judge has sent the appeal by the city of Parkersburg against police officer Floyd Holliday back to the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission for additional facts and conclusions.
Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Reed issued an opinion last month, sending the city's appeal of the overturned termination of Holliday by the civil service commission back to the commission.
"This court is of the opinion that this case needs remanded back to the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission for additional and specific findings of fact and conclusions of law," the opinion states.
The News and Sentinel checked on the status of the case on April 25, sending an email to City Attorney Joe Santer. Two days later, Reed issued a six-page opinion on the matter.
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.
In December 2010, the police Civil Service Commission by a 2-1 vote overturned the firing.
The commission was comprised of Bill Campbell, an attorney appointed by the city; Jack Hunley, who was appointed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and Jeff Bungard, who was appointed by the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Bungard is no longer on the commission. He was replaced by Doug Kreinik last year.
According to the commission's ruling, it did not dispute the alleged acts by Holliday, but stated instead "his conduct did not rise to the level to warrant termination."
"...factual findings made by the commission can only be overturned or disregarded if they are clearly wrong, arbitrary or capricious," Reed stated. "...this court cannot determine how the commission decided certain facts."
Despite overturning the termination, the commission upheld findings that Holliday:
Reed stated it was unclear whether the language about "'failing to properly inventory, tag, photo and log into evidence certain items' refers to the items seized by the warrantless search, the items seized pursuant to the warrant, or both."
According to the court filings, Holliday said all the items were there. However, officers who assisted in the vehicle stop confirmed a Garmin GPS was in the vehicle the night of the stop.
Reed stated the commission did not decide whether Holliday took possession of the GPS unit.
In his opinion, the judge stated the commission "simply restates the allegations of the various parties instead of deciding the issue."
"Therefore, this court is unable to determine whether the commission considered this evidence, and how much weight, if any, the commission gave to this evidence," Reed stated.
Campbell, who is president of the commission, was in a meeting Tuesday and unavailable for comment. A message left for Hunley also was not returned.
Holliday remains on paid leave. The officer has been on paid leave for almost two years, collecting more than $36,000 of his annual salary. Messages left for Holliday's attorney George Cosenza were not returned.
Reed stated the court was not attempting to advise the commission.
"The commission is free to make further findings of facts and conclusions of law as it deems appropriate," the judge stated.