Arbitrator Orders Department Of Corrections to Reverse Firings after Biendl Death

By Patricia Murphy

An arbitrator has ordered the State Department of Corrections to reinstate three staff members who were fired after officer Jayme Beindl was murdered at Monroe Correctional Complex two years ago. Officer Jayme Biendl was strangled inside the prisons chapel by inmate Byron Sherf who was serving time for rape. 

After the investigation three corrections officers were fired.One was demoted. The DOC accused them of misconduct, dereliction of duty and intentionally misleading investigators.The union filed a grievance on their behalf. In his ruling the arbitrator agreed that some of the officers deserved to be reprimanded- but not fired. The arbitrator ruled that the DOC must offer all four their old jobs back and pay them lost wages.

The union's Tracy Thompson says the arbitrators ruling is a relief for the officers.

Thompson: “From the very beginning thought it was just outrageous that the department was trying to scapegoat these line staff so this is a real vindication for these folks.”

In his ruling arbitrator noted problems with management and institutional complacency inside the prison. In a statement the DOC said it’s reviewing the arbitrator’s decision. They say they’ve already made changes since Biendl’s death. The department could appeal.

Inmate Byron Sherf is now facing the death penalty for Biendl’s murder.

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