Rist, city have to wait for decision

Published 10:59 am Friday, May 15, 2009

The grievance hearing for a fired Ironton Police officer is over, but now the waiting game begins.

Beth Rist, who was fired from the city after writing a bogus traffic ticket, sought arbitrator Harry Graham’s approval to get her job back during a closed-door hearing Thursday at the Ironton City Center. Her attorney, Warren Morford, said the hearing ended just before 4:45 p.m. now both sides have 30 days to file briefs restating their positions. Morford said Graham indicated he would issue his decision by mid-July.

“I’m pretty pleased with the way things went,” Morford said.

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Mayor Rich Blankenship said he would withhold comment on the matter until that decision is issued.

“It is still in the process,” Blankenship said.

On Aug. 27, Rist stopped Dolly Newcomb, who had run a stop sign. Newcomb also had no insurance, was driving under a suspension because she had no insurance and had expired vehicle tags. Newcomb’s daughter, Jamie Sparks came to the scene and was given the traffic ticket in place of her mother.

Roughly a month later, the Sparks appeared in Ironton Municipal Court and was told because there was no insurance on that vehicle, she would lose her driver’s license.

Sparks then called Rist about the matter and then later called Police Chief Jim Carey, who called for investigations into the matter. Rist was subsequently fired.

Rist was later indicted on one count of tampering with evidence, a felony. She pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsification and was placed on probation.