APPEALS COURT CONFIRMS OTTUMWA POLICE WAS RIGHT TO FIRE A SERGEANT

Appeals court confirms Ottumwa Police was right to fire a sergeant

The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the City of Ottumwa and its Police Department had the right to suspend and then fire a sergeant in 2017.  In Wednesday’s (11/6) ruling, the Court of Appeals reversed a district court ruling that said the City’s decision to fire Sergeant Mark Milligan was inappropriate.  In January 2017, Milligan was disciplined for not properly supervising an officer during a stolen car investigation.  The officer got into an argument with the suspect and arrested the suspect for harassing a public official.  A review of the incident found Milligan gave differing accounts of what happened, even though a conversation between Milligan and the officer was recorded.  That led to Milligan’s firing.  He appealed to the district court, which reversed Milligan’s firing.  In Wednesday’s ruling, the Court of Appeals says discipline against Milligan was not arbitrary and his suspension and then firing are appropriate for violating Police Department rules.

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