Youngstown law director says ruling in mandamus case backs up their right to discipline employees

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The appeals dismissed, in part, a claim for a mandamus action by the firefighter's union

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown Law Director Jeff Limbian said Wednesday he is pleased with a recent 7th District Court of Appeals ruling that denied, in part, a request for a mandamus action by the city firefighter’s union to appoint an independent investigator to look into claims against fire Chief Barry Finley.

In a press release, Limbian said the appeals court upheld the city’s right to discipline Finley or any other employee when the court ruled the request by Youngstown Professional Firefighters Local 312 could not be granted because city ordinances do not allow for the appointment boards or investigators.

“The city is pleased that the court has protected the right for the city to conduct fair and thorough investigations of its employees,” Limbian said in the release.

The union was asking for the city to appoint an investigation because they claim Finley threatened an employee during a grievance hearing in 2019.

The ruling was issued Thursday.

The appeals court also ruled that the union has 30 days to file a response to the city’s claim to dismiss the remainder of the mandamus. The union has claimed the city has stalled the complaint into Finley because they have not acted in a timely fashion, but the city answered that the firefighter in question waited several months before submitting an objection to his interview in the city’s own investigation.

Because the firefighter waited so long, the court should dismiss the remainder of the mandamus, the city contends.

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