Former Athens County Deputy Appeals Decision That Would Have Him Reinstated

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A former Athens County sheriff’s deputy, who the State Personnel Board of Review has ruled should have his job back, is appealing that decision in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

In the one-page notice of appeal, filed Feb. 27, former deputy Shannon Sheridan’s attorney, Mark Volcheck, asked for review of the case, saying the board’s decision “is not supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence and is not in accordance with the law.”

The same reason was given by Matt Baker, the attorney representing the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, in its appeal of the decision, filed the day before.

Sheridan was fired in June 2012 on accusations of insubordination and sexual harassment. He appealed his termination to the board a week after his firing.

The board of review ordered that Sheridan be reinstated in a decision filed Feb. 13, on the condition that he be subject to a “Last Chance Agreement” upon his return to the sheriff’s office.

The three-person board unanimously ruled to reinstate Sheridan, but gave him no back pay from time he spent waiting for a court decision, according to court documents.

When reached for comment, Volcheck declined to go into details about the appeal or even specify a reason why Sheridan would appealing a decision that would see him have his position as deputy reinstated. The Athens Messenger asked in an email whether the appeal had anything to do with the lack of back pay awarded, for which Volcheck also did not provide a response.

The Last Chance Agreement was also not discussed by Volcheck.

“Since this is a matter of pending litigation, I can’t speak on the details of the case,” Volcheck said.

In Baker’s appeal, he said Sheriff Patrick Kelly has “some serious concerns” about Sheridan’s returning to work because of dishonesty and the sexual harassment allegations.

“The board erred by failing to follow a well-defined and settled public policy of holding police officers to a higher standard,” Baker concluded.

Now that the appeal has been filed, the transcript and documents involved in the case are required to be sent to the Athens County Common Pleas Court for both appeals. Once all the documents are received by the courts, the sheriff’s office and Sheridan will each file a brief in regard to the respective appeals.