On June 7, 2010, Parkersburg police Patrolman Floyd Holliday II was fired for theft and misuse of department computers. Holliday, a nine-year member of the department, allegedly took items which had been confiscated via search warrants and also downloaded pornography on another officer's laptop computer.
The firing was more than justified, but - more than two years later - Holliday is still receiving his full pay and benefits.
Because in December 2010 a Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission, while not disputing the alleged acts, incomprehensibly ruled that Holliday's conduct "did not rise to the level to warrant termination."
For the past two years, the city has been fighting this absurd decision, the latest battle being Monday during a status hearing when Wood County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Reed essentially left the case in limbo by issuing a 30-day continuance.
Six months ago Reed issued orders for members of the commission to appear before the court to explain their reasoning behind their decision. His orders to the commission and its members went unanswered.
Monday, Bob Campbell, an attorney and member of the commission, told the judge it was because the membership of the commission had changed. Two of the members who ruled in 2010 are no longer on the three-member panel.
And, because the commission has changed members, Reed is unsure he can compel the original members to now testify.
Which direction this case now goes - and how long it takes to get there - is anybody's guess. More than likely, it will be reheard by the new commission, which will undoubtedly add a new layer of appeals.
This case never should have landed in circuit court in the first place. While all police officers are entitled to appeal their firing, Holliday's dismissal should have been an open-and-shut case. How the commission came up with this 2-1 decision overturning his dismissal is beyond comprehension.
Holliday is an embarrassment to the Parkersburg Police Department and what the men and women in that department stand for. He was rightfully fired in 2010. That he is still receiving pay and benefits is another crime - one being perpetrated on the citizens of Parkersburg.