By JESSIE HORTON
DUBLIN (March 25, 2015) — Three fired Dublin City Police Department employees have their jobs back if they want them, according to Dublin City Administrator Nancy Wooldridge. She, the Dublin City Council and lawyers from both sides met for several hours Monday for a grievance hearing.
“They’ve each been offered their jobs back, but I haven’t heard from a single one of them,” she said Wednesday. “No one has said they’d take their jobs back, but the council has offered them.”
The employees, Malinda Spence, Tish Lecroy and Charlotte Shaw Goforth, were fired in January when the city of Dublin was notified the two officers – Spence and Lecroy – allegedly arrested the wrong individual while attempting to serve a warrant and charges were filed against those officers by the suspect. It is not clear how Goforth was involved, though officials say all three were fired due to the same incident.
While the city maintains the officers mistakenly arrested the wrong person and they did nothing wrong in firing the three, they said the officers and GoForth, who is a dispatcher, could have their jobs back should they choose to return. Wooldridge and Dublin Mayor David Leatherwood said Spence would not be returning to Dublin ISD as a school resource officer and reassured students’ parents Dublin PD’s SRO Bob Gonzales would still be on the campuses despite what has occurred.
Wooldridge said none of the certified and highly qualified officers and dispatcher the city hired to replace the three would lose their position. She said she and Sgt. Bennie Noel (who serves as the interim police chief) would find places for any of the three, or all of them, should they choose to come back.
“My office, the police department, we all answer to the (Dublin) city council and we will accept anything they decide,” Wooldridge concluded. “We will take their decision and move forward, continuing to focus on making this department and the city as a whole the absolute best it can be. It’s a new day, a great day, in Dublin and we will take what we’ve got and be the best we can be every day.”