11/21/2007Ohio: Cop Who Forged Motorist Signatures May Get Job Back
Cincinnati, Ohio police may reinstate an officer who forged the signature of motorists nearly leading to their arrest.
Admitting to a forgery that nearly sent two innocent motorists to jail may not be sufficient reason to keep a former Cincinnati, Ohio police officer off the job. In February, rookie Officer Elizabeth Phillips, 26, investigated a pair of collisions that took place in icy conditions involving Leah Borgmann and Nicolaus Scheper. Phillips wrote reports and let the drivers involved go without a ticket.
Later, Sergeant Michael Bepler was upset that no traffic citations were generated. He told Phillips to write them up. So Phillips cited Scheper for improper lights and Borgmann for failing to keep a proper distance. She forged the motorists' signatures to make it appear as if they had been ticketed at the scene. When they failed to appear in court on charges they did not know were ever filed, arrest warrants were issued for Borgmann and Scheper. Both were forced to pay $104 in fines, but Phillips was arrested on May 3 only to be let off by a grand jury.
On October 5, the department fired Phillips fired for lying twice about the forgery and for insubordination. Police officials waited just long enough to do so that her probationary period expired and she fell under the protection of the union which believes it can secure her job.
"I can't think of anybody who was fired for (non-criminal) reasons whose job we haven't gotten back," local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge President Kathy Harrell told the Cincinnati Enquirer newspaper.