from the Iowa District Court for Wapello County, Shawn R.
appellants appeal from the district court ruling that
reversed the suspension and termination of Mark Milligan.
M. Craig and Emily A. Kolbe of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., Des
Moines, for appellants.
Gardner of Denefe, Gardner & Zingg, P.C., Ottumwa, for
by Bower, C.J., and May and Greer, JJ.
Ottumwa Civil Service Commission (Commission), City of
Ottumwa (City), and Ottumwa Police Department (Department)
appeal from the district court ruling that reversed the
suspension and termination of Sergeant Mark Milligan and
awarded him back pay. The appellants argue Sergeant
Milligan's suspension and termination were appropriate
and the court erred by refusing to reduce his damages by
income he received from other sources. We find Sergeant
Milligan violated Department rules and uphold the suspension
and termination. Given this determination, the damage
question is moot. We thus reverse the ruling of the district
Background Facts and Proceedings
January 5, 2017, multiple law enforcement officials,
including Officer Eric Orr and Sergeant Milligan with the
Department, responded to a call about a potentially stolen
car. At this scene, Sergeant Milligan was the supervising
field sergeant and the highest ranking Department official.
After the officers detained two individuals suspected of
stealing the car, B.H., a juvenile who was not suspected of
wrongdoing, approached Officer Orr and said she needed to
retrieve her belongings from the car. Surveillance video and
audio from Officer Orr's patrol vehicle shows these
B.H.: May I please go get my shit [inaudible] ORR: Not yet. .
. . .
B.H.: Well, if you're going to tow [the car, ] I need my
MILLIGAN: You keep running your mouth, things only get worse,
ORR: Keep your mouth shut.
B.H.: Who are you to tell me?
ORR: Why don't you go over to the van and keep your mouth
shut before you get in trouble.
ORR: Then go somewhere. Go somewhere.
B.H.: In my opinion.
ORR: Go somewhere, because you are interfering right now and
you're going to be arrested.
B.H.: I need my shit. I'm not leaving until I get my
ORR: Well, you're not going to get it until we tell you
ORR: We'll take as long as we want. It's going to
take longer with your attitude. We'll take all night
B.H.: I can have my attitude [inaudible]
ORR: I'll put the stuff in the car into evidence and you
can go get it . . . tomorrow if you want to continue.
ORR: Yeah. [Cross-talk] I'll impound everything in that
ORR: Just flip me off. I don't care. I may get you for
harassing a public ...