Ruling: Officer fired for racist posts entitled to back pay

WEST LINN, Ore. (AP) — An arbitrator ruled that the city of West Linn must pay at least $100,000 in lost wages to a police officer fired for racist Facebook posts because his colleagues knew about his behavior on social media and did nothing to address it until it was reported by the media.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports attorney Eric Lindauer also concluded that city officials were justified in firing Tom Newberry last year.

Lindauer found that Newberry’s racially biased posts were common knowledge among several high-ranking officers, who the arbitrator determined were aware of the type of comments Newberry made on his Facebook page before being placed on leave in July 2016.

The city must award Newberry back pay from his firing date in February 2017 to the ruling date last month.

West Linn spokeswoman Courtney Flynn says the city is appealing the ruling.