Dayton employee fired for moonlighting gets job back

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:17 PM

Some City of Dayton workers might have to quit 2nd jobs

The city of Dayton must reinstate an employee it fired after the city alleged she worked a second job in conflict with her public employment and violated other personnel policies.

In its disciplinary proceedings, the city found Roberta Beyer failed to obtain permission from management before working a second job it says was incompatible with her position as a recreation facility specialist at the Dayton Convention Center.

Roberta Beyer was fired from her job at the Dayton Convention Center. But she won her job back on appeal. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF(Staff Writer)

Beyer, who was fired in February, also was found by the city of being unprofessional or rude to a client and requiring the city to pay overtime to another worker for a scheduling decision she made, city records said.

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But city policy did not clearly specify when employees were supposed to notify management about their outside employment or what constituted a conflict of interest or prohibited employment, according to the Civil Service Board’s decision ordering Beyer’s discharge be reduced to an unpaid suspension.

Earlier this year, the city updated its policies to require all employees to seek departmental approval before seeking outside employment, and several employees have been notified their second jobs are in conflict with their city responsibilities.

Beyer has worked with the city as a recreation facility specialist at the Dayton Convention Center since 2010. She was first hired by the city in 1997.

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Beyer’s attorney declined to comment for this article. We have contacted the city of Dayton and will update this story when we receive a response.

In February, the city fired Beyer after ruling she violated three of its personnel policies and procedures.

The city said an investigation found that she did not get permission from management before working for the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, a union representing technicians, artists and crafts persons in the entertainment industry.

She did work at various locations, including at the Wright State Nutter Center and Schuster Center.

The city said the employment interfered with the performance of her work responsibilities at the convention center.

The city also concluded she scheduled an employee to work four hours of overtime and acted unprofessionally toward a client last November.

Beyer had “extensive” personal problems when she acted unprofessionally and should have taken the day off or should have been told to go home, the civil service board decision states.

But the Civil Service Board ruled against city claims that she was incompetent, inefficient or neglected duty.

The board, however, found Beyer neglected her duty to be fiscally responsible by scheduling the employee to work overtime, but they said the error did not merit her being fired.

The board also ruled that she did not violate the city’s code of ethics or personnel policies related to her outside job.

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Since 1992, city code has prohibited employees from engaging in incompatible employment, but it does not define or provide examples of what is prohibited by the charter or interferes with workers’ government job responsibilities, the board said.

The city in 2012 updated its policy to say that employees cannot have other jobs that hurt the quality or quantity of their job responsibilities or hold jobs that conflict with their “duties, obligations and loyalties” to the city.

Employees needed management approval when the supplemental employment was related to their city of Dayton positions, but employees were left to “police themselves,” and Beyer did not believe her other job conflicted with her city employment or required approval by her department’s director, the board said.

“Finally, there was no convincing evidence that appellant’s supplemental employment adversely affected her work for the city of Dayton,” the board’s decision states.

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In recent months, the city has issued letters to employees about the revised supplemental employment policy, and employees were required to submit requests to engage in additional work, city spokeswoman Toni Bankston said last month.

The city now has an ethics committee that considers requests for outside employment from city employees, and 11 requests went before the committee, Bankston told this newspaper last month.

Records obtained by this news organization indicate that three members of the Dayton Fire Department in September were told that their outside employment requests conflict with the their city positions.

They were told they would “forfeit their employment with the city” if they chose to engage in that supplemental work.

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Demand in West Dayton for 1,000 housing units, grocery store

Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 12:16 PM


            DeSoto Bass Courts public housing has about 354 housing units in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
DeSoto Bass Courts public housing has about 354 housing units in West Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Greater Dayton Premier Management, the local public housing authority, is working on a plan to improve conditions and the housing stock in a poor part of West Dayton where more than 6,000 residents live.

GDPM is targeting five neighborhoods west of Interstate 75 and south of U.S. 35 that have some rundown and aging public housing facilities and many vacant and abandoned structures.

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There’s demand for up to nearly 1,000 new housing units, including a mix of subsidized, senior, market rate and for-sale units, according to a market study done for the agency.

Residents who live in the area, which is home to the DeSoto Bass Courts and Hilltop Homes, also say they want community gardens, a grocery store, a laundromat and increased police presence and visibility, according to a survey of a public housing residents and some neighbors.

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GPDM’s “transformation plan” will be submitted to the federal government, which in the past has awarded tens of millions of dollars to communities to implement their plans and help pay for new housing, amenities and other investments.

The Trump Administration’s current budget does not have funding for implementation, but even without that money, GDPM hopes to remake this part of Datyon, though likely it would take longer and require some adjustments, agency officials said.

“We have alternate plans for our housing if we are not fortunate enough to receive this Choice Neighborhood funding,” said Jennifer Heapy, CEO of GDPM. “We are still committed to a transformation for that particular part of the city — it’ll just take us longer.”

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Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 3:22 PM

Montgomery County joins legal fight against opioid drug companies

Following in the footsteps of the city of Dayton and the state of Ohio, Montgomery County plans to sue drug companies or others that county officials allege helped cause the opioid addiction and overdose epidemic that has ravaged the Dayton region and communities across the country.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Montgomery County commissioners announced they have approved an agreement with Motley Rice, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms, to take legal action against “individuals and entities related to the marketing, prescribing, distribution or sale of opioids.”

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Montgomery County has hired the firm to investigate and then litigate claims related to the marketing and overprescribing of powerful opioid medications, said Mary Montgomery, chief of civil division of the Montomery County prosecutor’s office.

She said the goal is to hold those people and companies responsible for the opioid crisis accountable for it and try to recover the costs to taxpayers. That includes drug treatment programs, medical care, hospitalizations, law enforcement, prosecution and incarceration, Montgomery said.

Other costs include caring for the children whose parents have died of a drug overdose or who have lost custody because of their drug use, she said.

“Any money recovered will be for treatment programs as well as to reimburse the county for all of the expenses just mentioned,” she said.

Montgomery County has been particularly hard-hit by the opiate crisis, county officials said, noting that between 60 to 70 percent of the bodies in the county morgue last summer were overdose victims.

In 2016, prescribers in the county wrote almost 93 opioid prescriptions for every 100 residents, and there were more opioid prescriptions written each year between 2006 and 2015 than there were people living in the county, said Montomery.

“Nationally, the economic toll of the opioid crisis is estimated to have topped $1 trillion from 2001 to 2017,” she said.

Motley Rice, based in Washington, D.C., is lead counsel in lawsuits filed against pharmaceutical companies by the city of Chicago and Santa Clara County. The firm also represents four states, seven counties and a handful of cities and townships in other opioid-related litigation.

Last year, Santa Clara County, home to Silicon Valley in California, reached a $1.6 million settlement with drug maker Teva over “deceptive” marketing of prescription opioid painkillers, according to Motley Rice.

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Closer to home, the city of Dayton last June announced it was suing more than a dozen pharmaceutical companies, distributors and pain specialists who city officials allege misrepresented the dangers of opioid medications and profited from opioid dependency and use.

This is about basic fairness for Montgomery County taxpayers, and the companies that ignited and fed this deadly epidemic should help clean it up, said Commissioner Dan Foley.

“We believe … that the drug companies have a moral obligation to pay our community back,” Foley said.

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1 officer killed, 2 deputies wounded while serving warrant in Georgia

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:36 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 2:09 PM

WATCH: Officers Shot, Suspect Dead in Georgia

A police officer was fatally wounded and two sheriff’s deputies injured Friday after they were shot while serving a warrant in Locust Grove. Authorities said the suspected shooter was shot and killed by an officer.

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1 dead in shooting at veterans nursing home in Georgia

Published: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 12:03 PM
Updated: Friday, February 09, 2018 @ 1:42 PM

Shooting at Georgia Nursing Home

One person is dead after a shooting Friday at a nursing home for veterans in Georgia. 

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Richmond County sheriff’s deputies were called to the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home around 11:20 a.m. Deputies said that, upon arrival, they found a person dead of a gunshot wound.

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