By DENISE GRANT
Sean Young, who was fired as Findlay’s acting police chief last year because of a domestic violence incident, was preparing to blow the whistle on another police officer who was not charged with a crime following domestic violence allegations.
Young appealed his firing to the State Personnel Board of Review, Columbus, and filed a whistleblower case with the agency.
Later, the whistleblower case was dropped when Young reached a settlement with the city.
In documents obtained by The Courier, Young’s attorney, R. Kevin Greenfield of Toledo, referred to another Findlay police officer who was investigated for “unlawfully entering his estranged wife’s boyfriend’s home and assault.” That officer apparently was not charged.
City Law Director Don Rasmussen redacted the names of both the officer involved in the domestic violence incident, and the name of the officer who did the investigation. Rasmussen was asked by The Courier to remove the redaction of the public record, but so far has refused.
Rasmussen said the names are blacked out because they identify an “uncharged individual.”
The city also agreed to “permanently seal” four videotapes from an internal investigation of Young because they also identify an “uncharged individual.”
Rasmussen said the videotapes show Young undergoing a lie-detector test conducted by the Toledo Police Department during the internal investigation of a domestic violence incident involving Young last year.
Over the past year, Rasmussen has been dismissive of the Young whistleblower case, saying it was based on the ex-chief’s September 2016 dispute with Mayor Lydia Mihalik.
Young, and then police Chief Greg Horne, clashed with Mihalik because she was bypassing Findlay Municipal Building security while carrying a concealed 9 mm Glock pistol.
Mihalik has a concealed-carry license, and under Ohio law, is considered a law enforcement officer and has the right to conceal-carry within the municipal building, according to Rasmussen.
Last week, the State Personnel Board of Review, Columbus, released Young’s initial letter of appeal to the state agency, offering the first public glimpse of the nature of Young’s whistleblower case. In the letter, Young said he reported to a supervisor both ethical and criminal violations by his employer and by elected officials of the city. The agency has jurisdiction over whistleblower cases.
“I am humbly requesting a hearing or investigation by your agency into my termination,” Young wrote in his appeal, dated Oct. 19, 2017. “…It is my belief that my report had great weight in the decision to terminate my employment with the City of Findlay.”
Young was fired by the city on Sept. 29, 2017, after an investigation by the Toledo Police Department upheld the city’s decision to remove him from duty after a Feb. 4, 2017, domestic violence incident at his home.
Young immediately appealed his firing with Findlay’s Civil Service Commission on Oct. 2, 2017. The state whistleblower case was filed on Oct. 24, 2017.
But Young withdrew the whistleblower case with the state agency on April 6, 2018, the same day he signed a settlement with Mihalik, who is listed as his employer on the agreement.
Young’s withdrawal of the complaint ended the State Personnel Board of Review’s jurisdiction in the case, Christine A. Dietsch, executive director of the board, said.
In the settlement, Young also agreed to drop his appeal of his firing with Findlay’s Civil Service Commission.
The quick settlement of the appeals meant hearings on both cases were never held, and whatever evidence of wrongdoing Young may have had, may now be inaccessible.
The settlement also contains a gag order on Young and city officials.
The city paid Young $15,000 to settle the appeals. The agreement also amended Young’s personnel file to show he resigned from the city and was not fired.
Young pleaded guilty to a domestic violence charge, but was never convicted since he was allowed, by a visiting judge, to enter a diversion program. Young completed a six-month domestic violence program.
The city put Young on administrative leave from Feb. 9, 2017, to Sept. 29, 2017, when he was fired. He was paid $52,945 while on administrative leave.