MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was fired last June will receive unemployment benefits according to recent decision made by a hearing officer.
Tina Waymire was fired from the office on June 1, by Sheriff Charles Cox. She applied for the benefits on June 7. Her initial application was denied on July 13 due to “just cause” for her termination.
On Friday, Waymire said she plans to continue to fight for her job at the sheriff’s office. She stated she has an arbitrary meeting on Nov. 4.Waymire was employed by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office since Aug. 1, 1985.
This week, Sean Reid, a hearing officer with the state unemployment compensation review commission in Columbus ruled to reverse a July 13 ruling which denied Waymire benefits. The auditor’s office has until Sept. 16 to apply for an appeal.
Reid, in his decision released this week, reversed the July 13 benefits ruling against Waymire:
“The Director’s Redetermination issued July 13, 2015, is reversed. Claimant was discharged by Miami County Auditor without just cause in connection with work. Claimant’s Application for Determination of Benefit Rights is no longer disallowed based upon disqualifying separation from employment. This case is remanded to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to determine claimant’s monetary entitlement and any charges to the base period employers.”
The report cites the sheriff’s office policy manual section 7.08, “any information an employee obtains in the course of her duties, not subject to a public records law, is considered confidential and proprietary. Confidential information may not be discussed with individuals outside the sheriff’s department unless there is a need to know for legitimate business purposes.”
The report cites several incidents Waymire allegedly violated the policy.
The reports cites the sheriff’s office had issues with confidentially connected with posts made by a local blogger Kathy Leese entitled “The Miami County Reporter.” Waymire denied disclosing any confidential or proprietary information and denied the allegations on Jan. 22, 2015 with FOP representation present. The report states Waymire and Leese have been friends “for the past couple years.”
In February 2015, a citizen filed a complaint in regards to Waymire’s conduct concerning a teenager and the use of profanity during an incident report. The sheriff’s office stated that was a violation of its policy. The report states, “while claimant likely deserved some level of discipline for this incident, given her tenure with the department and prior disciplinary history, immediate discharge is too severe a penalty for this incident alone.”
The report also states the final incident that lead to Waymire’s termination was an allegation that Waymire gave Leese the personal cell phone number of Rena Gumerlock, Sheriff Cox’s administrative assistant. According to the report, Claimant testified that she gave out the phone number “out of concern for Ms. Gumerlock.” The sheriff’s office stated the information was part of its proprietary information and ethics laws. The report states,’ However the employer did not provide any direct testimony or statements from Ms. Gumerlock regarding this matter.”
In the “Reasoning” portion of the report, Reid states, ”The employer admits that there is no evidence that (Waymire) provided any proprietary information to Ms. Leese that was then posted to Ms. Leese’s Facebook page. While claimant may have been properly subject to discipline based on the February 2015 citizen complaint, the evidence does not establish that claimant’ s overall actions consider independently or collectively, were egregious or unreasonable as to warrant a denial of unemployment benefits.”
To read the full report in its entirety, visit www.tdn-net.com. The first two pages were blank in the report.