Arbitrator Rules Prosser Cop Wrongfully Fired in 2018
In part due to evidence uncovered showing the alleged victim's story changed numerous times, and were intoxicated at the time of the incident, an arbitrator has ruled that a Prosser cop fired for alleged groping and misconduct was wrongfully dismissed.
Officer Shane Hellyer was fired last March after allegations he groped a woman who had been arrested and was handcuffed in his patrol car. The Benton County Sheriff's department investigated but said there was insufficient evidence to file any kind of charges. However, the City turned its investigation towards other alleged conduct violations they say Hellyer committed, and fired him.
However, an arbitrator ruled this week he was wrongfully dismissed. Evidence was uncovered showing the alleged victim of the groping was intoxicated, and her story changed several times over the months between the incident in 2016 and his firing. She was serving time in jail during the investigation.
The arbitrator ruled the city tried to utilize information that was not related to the incident in question or pertinent to the case. The ruling not only restores Hellyer to full patrol and operational duty, but he will also be owed full back pay. The Teamsters Local Police Union 839 assisted Hellyer in the appeal and subsequent overturn of his dismissal.