The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the firing of a Cedar Rapids Police Officer following his arrest for a second OWI.
Austin Mensen was hired with the knowledge he had previously been convicted of OWI. He was with the Cedar Rapids department three years before being convicted of second offense OWI. The Civil Service Commission fired him and he appealed –saying there were not sufficient facts to support the decision and that it was arbitrary because it did not consider mitigating factors.
The Court of Appeals ruled Mensen’s conduct was detrimental to the public interest — as the loss of his driver’s license limited his ability to do his job. It also says police officers represent the department and city and are held to a high standard of conduct, and the existence of mitigating factors does not automatically render a decision arbitrary.