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Government & Politics

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on Firing Probationary Employees

Photo of the Ohio Supreme Court's main courtroom
JO INGLES
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
Jason Miracle's attorney said the firing had heavy political influence.

The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that state employees can be fired while they’re still in probationary periods.  The ruling comes in a case that was laced with presidential politics.

James Miracle was hired at the Sandusky Veterans Home in 2015, two years after he was fired from the Mansfield Correctional Institution for actions that led to an inmate’s escape.  His attorney Sharon Cason Adams told the court in April that Miracle had good reviews but was fired during his probationary period because of concerns from Gov. John Kasich’s staff.

"He was terminated upon orders from the Governor’s office because his ongoing employment was deemed politically embarrassing for the Governor in light of his upcoming political run for president."

The court ruled that probationary civil service employees don’t have the same legal rights and protections as tenured employees, though one justice wrote that fired probationary state workers could sue under another provision of the law.