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Rist appeals Judge Crow’s rulings

A former Ironton Police officer is taking her quest for reinstatement to the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Beth Rist has filed an appeal of a ruling handed down in late January by visiting Judge Fred Crow. In late January, Crow vacated an arbitrator’s decision that required the city to return Rist to work as an officer.

“Judge Crow never had the opportunity to hear testimony in the arbitration,” Rist said of her appeal. “So how can he make a judgment (about the arbitration) if he didn’t get to hear the testimony of the witnesses?”

Warren Morford, Rist’s attorney, said the Crow decision is one more in a series of efforts to unnecessarily keep Rist away from her job in spite of an arbitrator’s opinion she should not have been fired in the first place.

“They continue to deny Beth her constitutional, her statutory and her contractual rights,” he said. “I think it would be interesting to know how much money is being spent in opposition of Beth.”

Rist praised Morford, calling him a “great man” who has done his best to represent her.

Mayor Rich Blankenship said of the appeal, “I think she is exercising her legal right afforded by our judicial system, just as the city did when we appealed the arbitrator’s decision.”

Rist was fired from her job last year after she admitted she wrote a traffic ticket to someone who wasn’t driving at the time she stopped the vehicle. She was indicted on charges stemming from the incident, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of falsification and put on probation for it.

Late last year, she asked Crow to end her probation ahead of schedule in order for her to return to work as a police officer. Because she is on probation, Rist is not permitted to carry a gun, be in the company of criminals and break curfew, all of which she would be required to do as an officer.

Rist filed a grievance over her termination shortly after she was fired and arbitrator Harry Graham ruled in her favor, ordering the city to reinstate her as an officer. The city responded by filing the motion in common pleas court, asking Crow to overturn arbitrator Graham’s ruling.