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Updated: 3:46 p.m. Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | Posted: 4:59 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, 2014

RTA bus driver hearing resumes tomorrow

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Evidence photos contained in a presentation by the Dayton Police Department on Feb. 26, 2014, show a book carried by bus driver Rickey Wagoner in Dayton that allegedly was hit by two bullets intended for him.

By Steve Bennish and Jessica Heffner

Staff Writer

Union representatives of Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority bus driver Rickey Wagoner reviewed evidence Wednesday to prepare for a second meeting with RTA representatives Thursday morning. RTA Executive Director Mark Donaghy said Wagoner’s representatives asked for more time to review the police evidence before reconvening.

Wagoner, the bus driver who claimed he was attacked by three black youths should learn Friday whether he still has his job.

Police said last week that Wagoner’s claim of being assaulted by the teens wasn’t supported by the facts. He told authorities in February he suspected the assault was part of a gang initiation.

RTA representatives met with Wagoner Tuesday to begin the first step in the transit agency’s personnel process that could lead to Wagoner’s termination.

The meetings are the first steps in the hearing process in relation to the charges Mr. Wagoner faces at the RTA, according to Donaghy.

Wagoner’s legal representatives will get a chance to present evidence and introduce witnesses in his defense. “It’s a labor issue, not a legal proceeding,” Donaghy said.

Dayton’s City Prosecutor, Stephanie Cook, has declined to file charges based on the police investigation. She also has declined, through a city spokesman, to explain why no charges were filed.

The FBI, which investigated the incident as a possible hate crime against the white bus driver, has concluded that a crime of that type did not occur.

Wagoner repeatedly has declined comment. The attorney who represented him in the criminal investigation, Jeremiah Denslow said Tuesday, “From my understanding not only the Dayton police but the FBI has done a thorough investigation and a lengthy one. While they believe Mr. Wagoner was not truthful with them, I suspect the authorities didn’t feel they could prove it in a court of law.”

The investigation also has been reviewed by the Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office. On Monday, a coalition of black civil rights groups including the NAACP asked County Prosecutor Mat Heck to consider charging Wagoner.

Office spokesman Greg Flannagan said Tuesday that the police investigation had the potential for misdemeanor charges, which would not be handled by the county prosecutor.

“Our office did have some discussions with the Dayton Police Department concerning this matter and we were assured any possible alleged charges would be misdemeanors. There would not be any felonies they could pursue.”

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