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Cop fired in case of paraplegic beating seeks reinstatement

Published: Sat, July 23, 2011 @ 12:07 a.m.

By Peter H. Milliken



A former city police officer, who was fired a year ago in the alleged beating of a paraplegic, has appealed to Mahoning County Common Pleas Court an arbitrator’s ruling upholding his termination.

The arbitrator, Jerry A. Fullmer, upheld in May the June 2010 firing of Robert Jolliff, who was accused of dragging and punching Willie Daniel of High Street.

In the appeal filed Thursday, Jolliff said the city and the arbitrator failed to compare the excessive force complaint against Jolliff to other excessive force claims made against other city police officers and failed to consider Jolliff’s “exemplary record” concerning his performance and conduct over his 10 years with the city police department.

The appeal asks the common pleas court to vacate Fullmer’s decision and order Jolliff reinstated with back pay and full seniority and benefits retroactive to his June 8, 2010, termination.

City Law Director Iris Torres Guglucello declined to comment Friday on Jolliff’s appeal, which is assigned to Judge John M. Durkin.

Daniel complained he was assaulted when police responded to a single- vehicle accident in the 700 block of Wilson Avenue, in which an SUV crashed into a fence on Feb 27, 2010.

In Youngstown Municipal Court, Daniel pleaded no contest to a first-degree misdemeanor criminal charge of having physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated in that incident.

Police Chief Jimmy Hughes said he fired Jolliff “because of the allegations of excessive force and conduct unbecoming an officer.” The chief added that he believed Jolliff was not truthful in his comments during the police department’s internal affairs investigation.

The IA report found Jolliff used excessive force in dragging Daniel from the SUV and punching him in the face as he lay in the snow behind the vehicle, and it cited a polygraph that showed Jolliff was deceptive in his answers to several questions.

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