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Omaha cop fired over article will get his job back

By The Associated Press
04.30.05

OMAHA, Neb. — An Omaha police officer who was fired for writing an inflammatory opinion piece in a union newspaper is getting his job back.

Kevin Housh reached an agreement with Police Chief Thomas Warren on April 28 that will allow him to be reinstated tomorrow.

Housh must accept a 20-day suspension without pay, make a public apology to Warren and drop his federal lawsuit against Warren, Mayor Mike Fahey and the city, Omaha Police Union spokeswoman Felicia Collins said.

Housh, a sergeant with 14 years of service, also will be removed from the Emergency Response Unit, also known as the SWAT team.

In a statement, Housh said the compromise was necessary to allow him to take care of his wife and five children.

"I am relieved to put this ordeal behind me and look forward to returning to duty," he said.

Warren fired Housh March 11 for an article in the Shield in which he wrote about police response times. He wrote of "constant lies being told to the public regarding response times."

Housh also wrote of "backpedaling by the mayor's office. It's embarrassing quite truthfully. A bunch of grown men and women, supposedly leaders, acting like petty criminals trying to conceal some kind of crime."

Warren charged that Housh's statements in the Shield were tantamount to gross disrespect and insubordination.

The Omaha World-Herald quoted Housh’s apology letter as saying in part, “I believe a liar is someone who is incapable of telling the truth. I do not believe the words 'criminal' or 'liar' accurately describe the mayor or the chief. ... I apologize that my message was not clear."


Related

Officer's suspension raises questions about public employee speech

Indiana deputy who’s also running for sheriff was punished for published comments about department’s SWAT team. 08.07.01

Judge rules city violated policeman's free speech
Officer who placed 'Veterans Against John Kerry' sign in his truck was told to remove it. 09.19.05

Public employee speech

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