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County employee suspended without pay

Monday, May 12, 2008

(Photo)
Brandon Riggle
A county employee has been suspended for his part in an altercation with the K-9 unit of the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

In a special meeting Monday, the Clay County Commissioners suspended Brandon Riggle, 27, an employee of the Clay County Highway Department, for 90 days without pay.

Shortly before midnight on May 4, an unidentified homeowner called 911 dispatchers to report they were able to get the license plate number of the truck that just hit their home at 1378 West County Road 800 South and drove off.

After a search discovered an abandoned truck, with blood and firearms inside, Deputy/K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest tracked down Riggle, hiding in a brush pile under some weeds.

Riggle refused several orders by Clarke to come out, and when Forrest was sent out to get him, he allegedly began hitting Forrest in the head, causing bruising and swelling to the K-9's head and muzzle.

The commissioners also ordered Riggle to undergo alcohol counseling, at his expense, but will keep the county's health insurance active, which is rare for suspended employees.

"It was an unfortunate situation that happened," President of the Commissioners Charlie Brown said. "We are trying to be fair to all sides and provide an opportunity for him to turn it back around and have a second chance."

The 90-day suspension allows the commissioners to track his progress and await ruling from the court regarding his charges.

Riggle has been formally charged with operating a vehicle with an ACE of .15 or more, operating a vehicle while intoxicated -- endangering a person, resisting law enforcement, interfering with a law enforcement animal and failure to stop after an accident resulting in non-vehicle damage, all of which are misdemeanors.

He is scheduled to appear in Clay Circuit Court July 9, and the commissioners will reconvene after the 90 days to decide on further action.

"We received a lot of calls about terminating him, but that's not what we felt was the right thing to do," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. "This is his first offense, so we felt that terminating him was a bit too harsh, however, there is no guarantee that he will be reinstated."


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The Commissioners need to revisit this matter. This man put a lot of people at risk, including his own colleagues. This is a matter that needs reconsidered.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Mon, May 12, 2008, at 2:53 PM

What the??? Suspension? I can't believe what I'm reading here. What kind of message are the commissioners sending? This man SHOULD BE FIRED! Clay County citizens should be outraged! Hats off to Clay Community Schools, at least they took appropriate action when they fired that teacher for DUI.

-- Posted by tenspeed1984 on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 6:51 AM

I agree. And what this guy did was far worse than what that teacher did. Her actions were irresponsible, but nothing compared to this. In addition, you have to consider that part of his job likely involves driving big county trucks. Imagine the damage he could do with one of those.

-- Posted by bsmom on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 7:48 AM

This man should be fired. Commissioners were voted to represent their constituents. I firmly believe that he should be fired if convicted of this crime. "We received a lot of calls about terminating him, but that's not what we felt was the right thing to do," Commissioner Paul Sinders said. This is him admitting that his constituents want him terminated. That looks great.... Hurt one of our K-9 Officers that is funded through the county and donations of people in the county.... and also pay the salary of the suspect. Our tax dollars go to both. Could we please terminate him so my tax dollars don't go to someone like this? There are many people who would want a job like this without the record.

-- Posted by BrazilScholarly on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 10:46 AM

He should be charged with cruelty to animals also, assault with a deadly weapon (the truck hitting the house). How many first offense drunk drivers have killed innocent bystanders, and we now are ok with first offenders that might cause us not to be safe in our own homes. ???? That's whats wrong with this city and why we have the repeat offenders, slaps on the wrists don't work!!!

-- Posted by tigger47834 on Tue, May 13, 2008, at 7:40 PM

I agree with bsmom, This guy was out of control...

-- Posted by sadtimes on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 3:58 PM

I can't belive Paul Sinders insisted we pay the insurance of this guy while he sobers up for 90 days? If so, the county needs to recall Mr. Sinders as commissioner and get somebody who is less pathetic and has some gonads. This guy was drunk, he endangered a family, people on the road, a K-9 officer, and a uniformed police officer....and Paul Sinders rewarded him by paying his health insurance. Fire the drunk. There are lots of sober people who want county jobs. I am guessing that Mother's Against Drunk Drivers won't be contributing to Paul Sinders campaign in November.

-- Posted by Lafin on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 9:52 PM

Yes, this person made alot of serious mistakes. I thought everyone was given a second chance. All of you are hereing only one side of the story. Of course that is the polices side. Maybe the officers were ordering the dog to eat this guy. There is no since in hurting anyone. Maybe the guy was incoherent and couldn't understand what was going on. If a dog was attacking you and biting you with all his might, wouldn't you defend yourself. Yes, maybe his defense was harsh, but I don't know what I would do if I was being bit to death. Of course you won't here any of that from the other side. Suspend him, make him do alot of community service with animals, make him take class to control his drinking. I think everyone deserves a second chance and you would think you deserved a second chance also, if you were in this guys shoes.

-- Posted by different person on Thu, May 15, 2008, at 7:46 AM

I agree what he did was stupid, careless and wreckless and he should be punished. But, what did it have to do with his job? There are others working there that have been convicted of a DUI, and didn't lose their job. I am guessing the commisioners are trying to be as fair to everyone as possible, and by saying they are not listening to the people of Clay Coubty would be wrong because not everyone feels he should be fired. They haven't said he won't be fired yet either. I think it is good they are insisting that he gets help and not just firing him and making a bad situation even worse that could lead to more drinking and possibly more driving that way. And to say what he did is so much worse than what the teacher did - I don't get. Not only was she drunk, and in a car. she was also on drugs AND was exposing her self. Maybe I am differnt from others but I would rather have this guy filling holes in our road than that woman teaching my child. I say they both made really dumb decisions.

-- Posted by IMHO on Thu, May 15, 2008, at 11:56 AM


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