Created on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 Written by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper fired after an intoxicated motorist ended up dead after a traffic stop last year should get his job back, an arbitrator has ruled.
The trooper, Sean Carpenter, should be reinstated and paid for part of the time he was out of work, The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1cTtNmE ) reported Tuesday.
Carpenter, 39, was fired in April for conduct unbecoming of an officer and for failing to perform his duty after a July 2012 incident involving a drunken driver in Delaware County near Columbus.
Carpenter left the 22-year-old intoxicated man who spoke little English with two sheriff's deputies. The deputies then dropped off the man at a Taco Bell, and he was later hit by a car and killed while walking along a road. Supervisors faulted Carpenter for not arresting the man.
The ruling by the arbitrator came after a state appeals court in August overturned Carpenter's criminal conviction for dereliction of duty. The court determined he hadn't been negligent.
Staff Lt. Anne Ralston said the patrol has not determined when Carpenter will return to work. Carpenter will lose six months' pay but will be paid for at least two of the months that he was out of work.
Carpenter, who had been assigned to the Delaware post, earned $56,403 a year before he was fired.
The two deputies involved in the case were fired from the Delaware County sheriff's office in February. One of them also was convicted of dereliction of duty, with the same appellate court upholding his conviction. The other deputy was convicted of failing to aid a law enforcement officer.
Tracy Whited, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said the office is finishing settlement negotiations with the two former deputies but neither will get his job back.