facebooktwitterRSS
- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -
 

« News Home

Court rules commander didn’t discriminate against black state trooper



Published: Sun, December 9, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Ed Runyan

runyan@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

The Ohio Court of Claims has ruled that former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper Willie Smith Jr. failed to prove that the former commander of the Southington post discriminated against him because of his race.

Judge Alan C. Travis issued the decision Nov. 19 in a complaint Smith filed against Lt. Joseph Dragovich and other officials.

Smith, of Newton Falls, filed the complaint July 14, 2009, 21 months after being fired for dishonesty Oct. 16, 2007.

The ruling says Smith first went to work for the highway patrol in April 1998 and was assigned to the Southington post in June 1999 under the supervision of Dragovich. Smith is black; Dragovich is white.

In July 2000, Smith was fired for “conduct unbecoming an officer” after being accused of making threatening and intimidating remarks to coworkers and the public, but the firing was overturned in 2001 after Smith filed a discrimination charge with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.

Dragovich was transferred to the Lisbon post in 2003, and Smith had “no major disciplinary issues,” the ruling said.

Dragovich returned to the Southington post in April 2005. Smith returned from a medical leave in April 2006 and filed a discrimination complaint against Dragovich in September 2006, but the investigation turned up no evidence of racial discrimination.

In May 2007, administrative investigations of Smith were conducted regarding three violations of departmental policy in two months and lies he told about the violations. Smith was fired the following October.

The court ruled that “although [Smith] asserts that Lt. Dragovich’s animosity toward him was based upon his race, the court finds that [Smith] has failed to prove” that Dragovich had discriminatory reasons for firing Smith.

Dragovich is now commander of the Lisbon post.


Comments

1SemiRetired22(29 comments)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

I guess ole Willies' race card turned out to be a "joker" and not the "ace" in the hole that he thought he could play on his whole life. This is outstanding and fabulous news for the division knowing they won't have to put up with his garbage any longer. I know that it will make me have a Merry Christmas!

Suggest removal:


News
Opinion
Entertainment
Sports
Marketplace
Classifieds
Records
Discussions
Community
Help
Forms
Neighbors

HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2014 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes | Pittsburgh International Airport