CLEVELAND, Ohio — An arbitrator has ruled an Akron police detective fired earlier this year over a social media post about Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan should get his job back, according to the union that represents the city’s officers.
The arbitrator found the city’s February firing of 23-year department veteran James Anthony to be excessive, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 President Michael Leslie said in a statement.
Anthony was fired after an internal investigation into an Oct. 30, 2018 posting made on his personal Facebook page that wondered “how it is that no one has offed Farrakhan,” according to WKYC.
The arbitrator found that a 60-day suspension was appropriate, and awarded Anthony backpay from the date a 60-day suspension would have ended, the statement said.
“The Fraternal Order of Police is pleased with the ruling and agrees that the termination was excessive. We welcome back Detective Anthony and hope in the future that discipline issues will be determined more appropriately,” Leslie’s statement said.
A spokeswoman for Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.
The city said in a February statement that Horrigan and police chief Kenneth Ball decided to fire Anthony after they agreed his post “meaningfully impacted the efficient operation of the Police Department in the discharge of its public mission.”
It’s unclear if the city plans to appeal the arbitrator’s decision to a Summit County Common Pleas Court judge.