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Meister, Village reach terms

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Yellow Springs Police Officer David Meister has withdrawn his grievance with the Village following what a joint press release called a “very positive discussion” recently with Village Manager Patti Bates.

Meister filed the grievance in February after Bates rendered her decision in an internal investigation into Meister’s professional behavior.

Bates did not impose any further discipline on Meister after a third-party hearing officer found he did not violate any local policies by not going on a call to a shooting while off duty but still at the station last December.

However, Meister’s grievance argued that it was a disciplinary act for Bates to extend a performance improvement plan from a prior discipline, until August 2019.

Both sides have now agreed that the improvement plan laid out in a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, should be extended, according to the release, issued jointly by Meister and the Village Manager’s office on Monday, April 8.

“The parties agreed it was necessary to extend the timeline associated with the MOU due to both Chief Carlson and Officer Meister being unable to meet due to personal and family health care issues,” the release states.

A clause in the amended MOU, however, which threatens Meister’s termination if the goals of the agreement are not met, will now expire on June 30. The effective date of the MOU, April 1, will be valid for six months, or through September.

The amended MOU also clarifies the number and frequency of maintaining meetings between Carlson and Meister, with two monthly mediated sessions involving a third-party mediator and two additional monthly meetings to discuss Meister’s progress toward meeting the goals of the plan.

The MOU also ends with a new statement that reads: “By signing this Amended Memorandum of Understanding, the parties commit to moving forward in a positive and constructive manner.”
Meister declined to offer further comment on the agreement, according to his attorney, Dave Duwell, this week.

Through March 26, the Village spent $32,216 in legal fees during the Meister investigation, according to Village Finance Director Colleen Harris in a recent email. That figure includes $25,266 for Village Solicitor Chris Conard and $6,950 for hearing officer Jeffrey Hazlett.


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