Hubbard Township pays $209,000 to end dispute

HUBBARD TOWNSHIP — The township has spent $209,508 to deal with a more than 3-year dispute with a police officer who returned to the department in March.

Trustees at their meeting Tuesday said since 2021, the township has spent $179,065 in wages and back pay for police officer Michael Orr, as well as $30,443 in legal fees, arbitration fees, court fees and other nonwage expenses to handle the matter.

Trustee Chairman William Colletta told 15 residents at the meeting that Fiscal Officer Jennifer Evans, who was unable to attend the meeting, had compiled the total for each year since the dispute began in 2021.

“We had asked her to do a breakdown of the costs associated with Mike Orr in the past two-and-a-half years,” Colletta said.

He said in 2021, wages received by Orr through Oct. 25, 2021, were $61,471.

In 2022, Orr did not work and was allocated $53,672. In 2023, Orr did not work and was on administrative leave and received $21,702.

In 2024, with Orr returning to work on March 18, he received $73,246, which included $64,238 in back pay.

“It was time after reviewing the case to stop the bleeding, which would have been an additional $50,000 or more to solve. We would have probably not been in arbitration yet. The attorneys said for us to resolve the case,” Colletta said.

Resident Diana Edwards said in addition to those totals, there was also the overtime the police officers had to work while this issue was being resolved.

“There was a lot of overtime also that really did not need to be out there on top of all these costs,” Edwards said.

Trustees Colletta and Jason Tedrow in March voted to rehire Orr, who had been terminated two years ago. Trustee Rick Hernandez abstained.

Orr was terminated in January 2022 after an incident involving a truck driver at the Flying J truck stop in October 2021. Hernandez, who was not at Tueday’s meeting, previously said he abstained because he voted to terminate Orr the first time and didn’t want to be responsible if anything happened in the future.


In other business, trustees approved hiring an additional part-time police officer effective May 19 not to exceed $22 per hour and not to exceed 40 hours per week with no benefits.

The police department has eight full-time officers and is looking for a part-time officer to fill in for vacations and comp time so the township does not have to pay overtime.

Colletta said the part-time officer would be working on an as needed basis

Police Sgt. Ron Reed said call volume has been increasing in recent months, with more complaints of four wheelers. He said there also have been more arrests with additional staff.

Colletta said the police department is also cracking down on warrants.

Trustees also promoted officer William Greene to captain at $32.08 per hour effective May 12 in addition to his duties as acting police chief as chief Ron Fusco is off sick.

Greene is a 33-year employee of the department.

Colletta said the police department is doing what it can with the staff it has, which will never be 11 to 13 full-time officers as it was years ago.

Have an interesting story? Contact Bob Coupland by email at bcoupland@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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