By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
Portsmouth Mayor David Malone says he is not going to take disciplinary action against Police Chief Charles Horner despite not receiving documentation that the chief was on medical leave for about three weeks before Malone learned of it from a newspaper reporter.
“I don’t think there will be (disciplinary action),” Malone said. “Even though he didn’t really give us any documentation as far as approval, if the doctors write him off I can’t really say, ‘no, you can’t have it off.’ We didn’t get that document like we should have on Dec. 7, but I don’t think it warrants any disciplinary action. Maybe it was just an oversight on his part.”
Malone said there is a policy in place for handling such situations.
“There is a Request for Leave document that each of them fill out and turn them in here and I sign then for approval,” Malone said.
Malone said Tuesday that he now has a document from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation that gives Horner the recommendation to be off work because of illness.
Last week, Horner told the Portsmouth Daily Times that he had been off on medical leave for about three weeks, but Malone said at that time he was unaware Horner was off work and had not received any paperwork.
Now, Malone said Capt. Robert Ware has given him a copy of the document and said Ware had it all along.
“We did get some documentation that was the doctor’s recommendation to BWC, and she does recommend him being off Dec. 7 (2011) through Jan. 9 (2012),” Malone said Tuesday morning. “I am assuming it was issued Dec. 7. We didn’t get that information actually until Capt. Ware brought it into my office yesterday (Monday).”
Malone was asked if he was going to name an interim chief until Horner returns.
“Not at this point,” Malone said. “Because the chief is still actually the chief. But Capt. Ware will assume all the responsibilities while he’s incapacitated.”
Horner announced earlier this year he will retire in February and then run as an independent candidate for Scioto County sheriff.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at email@example.com.