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Firing of Taylor County officer was justified


The firing of Taylor County Sheriff Sgt. Dave Bender was justified according to a decision rendered by Judge Patrick Madden.  Bender was fired after he was accused of using “excessive force” during an arrest of Shawn Steen.  Four members of the Taylor County Personnel Committee considered 13 hours of testimony before voting to support Sheriff Bruce Daniels termination of Bender’s employment.

Following the committee’s decision, Bender appealed and Judge Madden was assigned to review the case.  Judge Madden issued his finding which read:  The facts present a question of both certiorari review and statutory review predicated upon the holding of Klinger versus Oneida County.  Specifically the Court finds:

1.    The committee had appropriate jurisdiction.

2.    The theory of law was correct.  The committee weighed the evidence and found just cause to terminate.

3.    The Board’s actions were reasonable and are not subject to the Court’s substituting its analysis for that of the board.

4.    The evidence was substantial and convincing.

A.   Bender violated the use of force policy.  Four officers reported Bender’s force was not warranted.  Chief Woebbeking yelled for Bender to stop.

B.   Bender violated truthful reporting policy.  Substantial evidence in the record supports the findings that Bender violated the policy regarding truthful and complete recording.  Bender’s report fails to include physical strikes.

In reliance on Klinger, which was a case decided by this court, the court concludes that the committee acted within its authority correctly, reasonably and made a proper determination by applying the facts to the law.  The committee properly relied on the majority of officers to reach its conclusion.

Therefore, the court affirms the Taylor County process and findings, that ruling was made by Judge Patrick Madden.

Dave Bender was the commander of the county’s S.W.A.T. Team when the incident occured.

After Sheriff Bruce Daniels took office in 2007 he instituted what he called “Golden Rules”; 20 standards which all of his officers agree to abide by.  The standards deal with integrity and use of force.  In addition,  Rule number 12 states:  “If you cheat or steal I will fire you.”

 The firing of Taylor County Sheriff Sgt. Dave Bender was justified according to a decision rendered by Judge Patrick Madden.  Bender was fired after he was accused of using “excessive force” during an arrest of Shawn Steen.  Four members of the Taylor County Personnel Committee considered 13 hours of testimony before voting to support Sheriff Bruce Daniels termination of Bender’s employment.

 

 

     

 



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