Griffin ruling won’t be appealed|[5/7/05]

Published 12:00 am Monday, May 9, 2005

City officials said Friday they will not appeal the Civil Service Commission decision to reduce disciplinary action against a Vicksburg police office fired earlier this year.

By not appealing the three-member panels action, the city is clearing the way for Clay Griffin to return to work around Aug. 30 at the end of his six-month suspension. Griffin was fired by the city board after he tried to assault a shackled prisoner in his custody for comments made by the prisoner.

“We did what we had to do to protect the city,” said Mayor Laurence Leyens. “But, I’m OK with this.”

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Leyens and North Ward Alderman Gertrude Young voted 2-0 for the termination based on the recommendation of Police Chief Tommy Moffett. South Ward Alderman Sid Beauman had recused himself from the vote.

Griffin, a 17-year-veteran of the department, reported the Jan. 26 incident to his supervisor. He said he removed Joseph Parson from a holding cell, pushed him against a wall and tried to grab him by his arms and shoulders inside the building that houses the police department and municipal court.

Parson, 27, is being held in the Warren County jail on robbery charges.

Griffin has been working as an 911 dispatcher since he was fired and said he will continue there until he returns to the police department.

The other provisions of the Civil Service order are for Griffin to complete an anger-management program at his own cost.

What position he will return to at the police department was left to the discretion of the police chief.