Date set for fired police officer’s Civil Service appeal|[3/10/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 10, 2005

An April 28 hearing date was set Wednesday by the Vicksburg Civil Service Commission for Clay Griffin, the 17-year veteran of the Vicksburg Police Department fired Feb. 10 following his self-reported assault of a prisoner in his custody.

Through his attorney, Travis T. Vance Jr., Griffin has said that he attempted to knee the prisoner after the prisoner made lewd comments about Griffin’s wife. Griffin was working as a prisoner transfer officer.

The three-member commission’s role is to hear such appeals of job-related actions and decide whether such decisions in the police and fire departments were made in good faith and for cause. They affirm, reverse or modify decisions.

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The next level of appeal is Warren County Circuit Court.

In a separate case, fired firefighter Dewayne Winters, has filed a notice of appeal in circuit court. The city’s decision to fire Winters, 39, had been upheld by the commission unanimously on Feb. 4, following a 12-hour appeal hearing nine days earlier.

City officials argued the firing was triggered by a fight with an ex-girlfriend Winters had while he was at work at a fire station about March 3, 2004. Winters was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence after a May 12 trial in Vicksburg Municipal Court. That conviction was overturned in Warren County Court July 12, and Winters’ attorneys used that fact as a main part of their argument to commissioners.

In other matters, the commission: