PARKERSBURG - Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Reed issued a 30-day continuance Monday during a status hearing of an appeal by the city of Parkersburg against the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission regarding the termination of police officer Floyd Holliday.
"What's left to do?" Reed asked.
"Scream," City Attorney Joe Santer replied at the conclusion of the 20-minute hearing.
Attorneys George Cosenza, right, and Bob Campbell, a member of the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission, listen to Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Reed Monday. (Photo by Jody Murphy)
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.
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." The city appealed the commission's decision.
This spring Reed returned the case to the commission for additional and specific findings of fact and conclusions of law. However, the commission is no longer comprised of the three members who made the 2010 ruling.
Only Bob Campbell, who was present in court Monday, remains.
Jeff Bungard's term expired last year. Jack Hunley resigned last month. The two have been replaced by Doug Kreinik and Joe Gonzales.
With the change in membership, Reed said he is unsure how to proceed. Santer and Holliday's attorney, George Cosenza, both agreed the former members of the commission should be brought before the judge to explain their decision.
Reed, however, is unsure the court has such power.
"The court cannot make appointments," he said.
Santer reasoned the judge remanded the case back to the commission, asking members to explain their actions.
"The court can order them to fulfill their duties," he said.
Reed wondered what if one, or both, of the former commission members refused or were unable to come before the court.
"If they refuse to cooperate, I am not sure I can force them," he said.
Reed gave Cosenza and Santer 30 days to come up with a possible solution.
Cosenza asked if the commission's initial proceedings were recorded. If so, Reed could use those recordings as a basis for judgment or he could order the case to be reheard by the commission.
In the meantime, Holliday has been on paid leave for more than two years, collecting $36,000 a year plus benefits. He was fired by the city in June 2010 .
Reed also was frustrated by the length of the time the case has languished in court.
"This sat in another court without action for months," he said. "It needs to be decided one way or another."