RCPD officer’s dismissal upheld

By The Mercury

A judge has upheld the 2010 dismissal of a Riley County Police Department officer who was involved in a car chase here.

Judge William B. Elliott issued the order on Friday, finding for the department and the Riley County Law Board in an appeal filed by former Officer Ernest Hamilton.

A 10-year veteran of the force, Hamilton was removed by director Brad Schoen in October of 2010.

Elliott found that Schoen was within his rights to fire Hamilton and that the Riley County Law Board was also within its authority to uphold Hamilton’s removal.

The incidents for which Hamilton was removed occurred Sept. 1 and Sept. 7, 2010, Schoen having found that on the first of those occasions Hamilton exceeded the speed limit without use of lights and siren, then proceeded through several stop signs without stopping.

Schoen determined that on Sept. 7 of that year, Hamilton exceeded speeds of 100 mph in an effort to catch a fleeing motorcyclist on Fort Riley Boulevard.

In his ruling, Elliott made it clear he was not re-examining the facts of the case itself, but rather was making a determination that Schoen had acted within his power as director in making the decision — that it was not “arbitrary and capricious” — and that the law board was also acting within its statutory power in upholding that decision.

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