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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut state worker fired after he was caught smoking marijuana on the job was punished too harshly and should get his job back, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.
Gregory Linhoff was fired from his maintenance job at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington in 2012 after a police officer caught him smoking pot in a state-owned vehicle. He had no previous disciplinary problems since being hired in 1998 and had received favorable job evaluations, according to his union. He was arrested, but the charges were later dismissed.
State officials said firing the New Hartford resident was the only appropriate penalty for his conduct and not doing so would send a bad message to other employees. An arbitrator disagreed and overturned the firing, saying Linhoff instead should be suspended without pay for six months and be subject to random drug testing for a year after he returned to work.
The state appealed and a Superior Court judge overturned the arbitrator's decision on the grounds that it violated Connecticut's public policy against marijuana use. Linhoff's union, the Connecticut Employees Union Independent SEIU, appealed the judge's ruling to the Supreme Court.
All seven justices agreed that the lower court judge was wrong to overturn the arbitrator's ruling, saying that while state policy on drug use in the work place allows for firing workers it does not require it. Justices also said that judicial second-guessing of arbitration awards is uncommon and should be reserved only for extraordinary circumstances.
Last week, a 27-year-old autistic man was robbed of his birthday money, but today he's getting it all back.
Patrick was presented a gift today from police and the community after his money was stolen.
Last Tuesday, Patrick was walking through a breezeway to the mall, police say, carrying 100 birthday dollars to buy video games.
In a this video police posted on social media you can see a man befriends Patrick, tricking him and taking his money.
"The media and the community felt the same outrage that we felt when we saw the video. There was a lot of support. This is not something you want to see in your community, let alone in your backyard," said Lt.Timothy Shaw, assistant chief of police.
Police identified the suspect as 27-year-old Steven St. Jacques. Police arrested him today, charging him with 2nd degree Larceny -- he's held on a $50,000 bond. St. Jacques admitted the crime and police say he knew the victim.
But this afternoon, Patrick received new birthday money and gift cards -- donated by police and the community.
source & video
VERNON, Conn. ? A man fatally shot himself in the head earlier this month during a game of Russian roulette that was seen by a friend during a video chat, according to an arrest warrant affidavit released this week.
Armand Cyr, 38, was at another friend's apartment in Vernon, about 13 miles east of Hartford, when he put a .38-caliber revolver to his head and pulled the trigger on the evening of July 13, according to a report based on the affidavit in Wednesday's editions of the Journal Inquirer.
Cyr shot himself after being handed the gun by the other friend, John Dybowski, 26, who had put the gun to his own head and pulled the trigger without a bullet discharging, police said. Dybowski was arrested last week after police said they found guns and drugs in his apartment.
Authorities said the fatal game was seen by an unidentified friend from East Hartford who was having an online video chat with the two men.
Dybowski told police he gave Cyr an unloaded revolver and a single bullet, but said he was in another room when Cyr shot himself, according to the affidavit.
The friend at the other end of the video chat said he saw Dybowski put the revolver to his head and pull the trigger, then told Dybowski and Cyr that what they were doing was "crazy," the affidavit says. The friend then saw Cyr shoot himself and slump back lifeless on a couch, but he initially thought it was a joke, police said.
Police said they found two more guns as well as marijuana, heroin, pills and cocaine residue in Dybowski's apartment, resulting in his arrest. Authorities said they also found photos on Cyr's cellphone of him and Dybowski with drugs and guns shortly before the incident.
Dybowski is detained on $100,000 bail on charges of reckless endangerment, making a false statement, tampering with evidence and various weapons and drug charges
Seattle Police are investigating a report of a drone peeping into a woman?s apartment window.
Police were called to the downtown Seattle apartment complex on Sunday morning after she spied an unmanned aerial vehicle hovering outside the building. The woman said she was concerned the drone was looking into her apartment.
After calling police, an employee of her apartment building says he went outside and saw two men piloting the drone. They packed up their gear, which included a video camera, and drove off before police arrived. Authorities say they are checking for surveillance video that may help identify the men.
Drones and what role they should play in society have been a hot item in Seattle for quite some time. Last year, former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn ordered the Seattle Police Department to abandon its plan to use drones after an uproar from citizens and privacy advocates.
ENFIELD, Conn. ? The state has suspended the license of an Enfield dentist after the death of a patient who was having 20 teeth extracted.
The Journal Inquirer reports that Dr. Rashmi Patel faces a June 18 hearing before the Connecticut State Dental Commission.
The state alleges Patel's actions led to the death of patient Judith Gan. The 64-year-old was having extractions and implants performed on Feb. 17 when she became unresponsive. She was transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield where she was pronounced dead.
Michael Kogut, Patel's attorney, says there is no medical information indicating that Patel's actions resulted in Gan's death.
Among other things, the state alleges Patel failed to respond appropriately when the woman's oxygen levels dropped, and improperly attempted to extract the teeth in a single visit.