Arbitrator Rules Oda Poole Reinstated to Rockford PD

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The police officer involved in Mark Barmore's shooting death in 2009, who then lost his job, could be back to work for the Rockford Police Department by the end of February. However, it is unclear what job Oda Poole will be doing.

An in independent arbitrator ruled that the city of Rockford has to give Poole his job back. On Saturday, the city clarified that the arbitrator's ruling states that Poole must return to the job he held at the time he was fired in 2011. At that time Poole was on administrative leave. Poole won't be back to work immediately, the city and union also have to agree on a doctor to give him a fitness for duty exam. That has to happen within the next 90 days. Poole tells 23 News that the two sides still need to hammer out details like when he'll return and if he'll receive any back pay.

Chief Chet Epperson fired Poole in July 2011, saying he was no longer fit for duty.

From the City of Rockford:
On Friday, November 15, 2013, the City of Rockford received a decision from Arbitrator Simon in the matter of Oda Poole.
The decision states that the “City must return Mr. Poole to the status he had with the Rockford Police Department prior to his termination on July 15, 2011, consistent with the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” At the time of his termination, Mr. Poole was assigned to administrative leave from his home.
Additionally, the agreement identifies that “The City and the Union shall agree upon an independent, neutral doctor to perform a complete Fitness for Duty examination for Mr. Poole.” This examination must happen within 90 days and the “decision of the neutral doctor shall be final.”


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