The case of fired Parkersburg Police Officer Floyd Holliday has been batted back and forth between Wood County Circuit Court and the city like a volleyball for two years.
The latest volley occurred Monday when Circuit Judge Jeff Reed once again ordered the Parkersburg Police Civil Service Commission to again answer why it overturned the city's decision to fire Holliday in 2010. He also ordered the members report their findings to his court by Jan. 18, 2013.
There is reason to believe this case may be coming to an end at last. In the past, Reed's orders for the board to show reason why it overturned the city's original decision to fire Holliday went unheeded because the board has changed members since the original decision was handed down. The judge did not believe he could compel the two members who are no longer on the board to appear before him.
Monday, however, Reed, citing case law, said the commission is an institution, regardless of a change in membership. He then ordered the board's current members "as it is constituted" to provide the court with its findings and conclusions.
This game has certainly gone on long enough. Holliday was fired for allegedly stealing items confiscated from search warrants and for downloading pornography on city computers. However, his firing was overturned by the police commission that December by a 2-1 vote. The panel's majority while not disputing the findings that led to the city's action, said that action "did not rise to the level to warrant termination."
During the two years the city has been appealing this, Holliday has collected his annual salary of $36,000 plus benefits - paid for by the city's taxpayers.
The current members should rehear the case and uphold the city's decision to fire Holliday. Holliday will still be able to appeal this decision, but he will not be living off the city's taxpayers as he has been for the last two years.