Former Police Officer Back on the Force, Sorta

by Staff on October 23, 2011 · 1 comment

in Local

A former Mitchell police officer is now officially a City employee once again.

Officer Steven Blair was suspended without pay over a year and a half ago.

Nearly a month later, after a public session of the Mitchell Board of Works, Blair was officially terminated from employment with the City. After presenting “findings of fact” at that meeting, Steve Burton made a motion to fire Blair.

Mike Eager quickly seconded Burton’s motion and then asked for a vote. The decision was quickly made and the meeting adjourned.

Last October, Lawrence Circuit Court ruled that the City’s Board of Public Works and Safety did not have the jurisdiction to terminate Blair’s employment due to the establishment of the Merit Board.

The Indiana Court of Appeals later affirmed the lower court’s ruling and, earlier this month, the Indiana Supreme Court did the same, ruling that Blair must be reinstated to the Mitchell Police Department.

I met up with Mayor Dan Terrell Saturday night, who confirmed that, as of Friday, Blair is “officially” a City employee again. According to Terrell, however, he immediately placed Blair on administrative leave.

Officer Blair, you may recall, was captured on audiotape having a nearly hour-long conversation with Merit Board member Terry Bock. In that conversation, Bock expressed his extreme desire to be the Mayor of Mitchell and discussed hiring his wife and Blair’s wife, as well as purchasing a new City vehicle for himself.

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