Residency rules and the courts- bad news for Victor Pate

I haven’t forgotten my obligation to my Dayton readers about giving them the up-to-date skinny on what’s happening. It’ll be the same once I’m elected to Congress. Keeping the people informed is what I hope to be best known for (it was the point of the ninja mask after all).

Victor Pate was the city employee who moved out of Dayton and got fired pronto, for violating the residency law after the State tried to intervene. I wrote about it here: http://esrati.com/?s=victor+pate

Akron just won a case to overturn the State law- as covered in the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Cities win court victory on employee residency requirements – cleveland.com
Cleveland and other pro-residency cities have won another victory in a quest to make sure their employees live within city limits.

The 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals sided with the city of Akron in a Wednesday ruling that found unconstitutional a state law barring most local residency requirements.

The decision is another setback for police and fire unions seeking to overturn the policy.
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The 3rd Ohio District Court of Appeals ruled in early December that the city of Lima’s residency requirement is legal. It was the first appeals court ruling issued on Ohio’s May 2006 law banning the requirements.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at the time declared that ruling a victory for cities throughout Ohio. Cleveland’s residency rule, approved by voters in 1982, requires city workers to live in Cleveland. But Ohio legislators lifted the requirement with a new law that took effect in May 2006.

Jackson, however, defied the law and threatened to fire any city employee who moved out of Cleveland. He has fired eight people for violating the residency requirement.

Even with Wednesday’s decision, the battle is far from over. A handful of other appeals courts, including the 8th Ohio District Court of Appeals in Cleveland, are considering the legality of residency laws. The Ohio Supreme Court ultimately will decide the issue.

Several trial courts – including Summit County Common Pleas in the Akron case – have ruled against residency laws.

I didn’t see anything about this in the Dayton Daily News. I’m sure, we’ll be seeing more court cases on this- and it will be years before it’s sorted out.

I still believe that it would be time and money better spent by making Dayton some place you would want to live, instead of fighting to force it. I couldn’t think of anyplace I’d rather live- but that’s the difference between me and Mike Turner- who moved out as fast as he could after he lost his job as Mayor.

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8 Responses

  1. SEF February 4, 2008 / 10:31 pm

    Victor Pate settled out of court last I heard.

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  2. Mark Paxson February 28, 2008 / 2:10 pm

    Anyone who is interested in finding out about the true manner that the City of Dayton insidiously enforces its residency law is free to contact me.

    For example Mr. Brent McKenzie an attorney in the City’s legal department stated under oath that the City’s standard for firing an employee under the residency law is if the employee is found outside the City five evenings. (It does not matter why their outside the City – caring for a child, an elderly parent whatever.) A standard that has nothing to do with the court adopted legal standards for establishing residency such as having a residence in the City, the use of that residence, as well as corresponding documentation. (I was discharged even though I had a resdence in the City verified by the City’s own investigation – a sizable amount of your tax dollars at work.)

    The investigation is conducted by the City’s legal and human resources departments, with no due process allocated to an employee before their fired – in that those departments are not required to present their evidence to an objective third party and get their approval – they stand as judge and jury. The first appeal an employee recieves is 6-9 months later in front of the Civil Service Board, an arm of the City, comprised of City compensated individuals – you can imagine how unbiased they are.

    Based on the standard of five nights it virtually ensures that anyone investigated for a residency violation will be found guilty of the charge – allowing the City virtually discretion in applying the law. In my case it was because I did an audit that showed the Department of Economic Development had misused federal dollars (since then the division manager who had oversight of those funds and the department director have both left the City.) An audit never released to the citizens of Dayton. Further, I was prevented from doing a corresponding audit that would have shown the misuse of even more federal dollars.

    I worked for the City for 8 years and the issue of my residency never came up*, within 30 days of my completing the audit a residency investigation had begun against me.

    *My daughter’s Mother is an operating room on-call nurse in Springfield who once to twice a week gets called out on cases. When she did, she would contact me and I would stay overnight to care for our daughter. The City used those overnight stays to come up with their 5 nights number. So essentially, if I had abandoned my daughter, never sought her out. Instead, stayed in Dayton everynight whoring around, drinking and partying I would still be employed by the City. But instead, because I chose to try and be a good father, it was used against me, used to take my job.

    Is that what 80% of the citizens of dayton voted for? So that the residency law could be misused to that end.

    I can be reached at 614-207-3660.

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  3. Sarah December 14, 2008 / 9:49 pm

    Hello-

    My husband is a City of Dayton Police officer and we are anxiously awaiting the final decision in the supreme courts. Last we heard a few months ago that Daytons case was on a “stay” in the supreme court until maybe April. Have you heard anything futher on this? Any information would be much appericiated!!

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  4. David Esrati December 14, 2008 / 10:07 pm

    @Sarah- haven’t heard. Sorry.

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  5. Chris March 27, 2009 / 8:51 am

    I have heard rumor that the decision has been made and the State will uphold the new law. The reason for the delay is that they are giving time for the Cities to figure out how to handle the upcoming lawsuits. Another financial error by politicians. I live in Cleveland and work for water. CWD (Cleveland Water Dept.) services seven counties and I don’t even work in the city. I am double taxed because they take out local income and then Cleveland gets it’s “Residency Tax”. There are a lot of employees that work outside the city but are forced to live here. There was a time when this city was worth living in, but now I have kids to raise and school to pay for. I can’t put them into public school, if you can call that. Hell the people that work for the school sstem in Cleveland don’t have to live here. I hear many rumors on the street about where peoplelive. There are individuals that are given passes to live where they want – political abuse isn’t it. Can you dig a little to see if the rumors are true. I have hit every media outlet up here with no response. I think there is some washing of the hands there too.

    Thanks,

    Stuck in Cleveland

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  6. David Esrati March 27, 2009 / 10:21 am

    @Chris, I wish I had time and money to do the investigation- but, alas, I don’t.
    I’ll do my best to keep you informed.

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  7. md bound June 11, 2009 / 12:27 pm

    OH HAPPY DAY ON 6/10/2009 IT’S BEEN OVERRULED AND THE POWERS THAT BE SAY THEY WON’T APPEAL/  SO THE STORY GOES

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  8. BSH June 12, 2009 / 1:11 pm

    Anyone want to buy a newly built home (5 years) in the C o D?  Yeah, I didn’t think so!      A for sale by owner sign went up in our yard the day of the decision!  We’re giving it a year and a half to sell (our oldest goes to kindergarten at that time).  If it does not sell we have decided in the best interest of our children we will happily give our home back to the bank, move to the ‘burbs and rent for the 7 or so years it takes the foreclosure to come off of our credit report and buy another home in a new neighborhood.  Our children are worth the sacrifice!

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