Broward Deputy Josh Stambaugh was one of four deputies fired for neglecting their duty during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Valentine’s Day mass shooting. An arbitrator has ruled he should be getting his job back more than two years after the shooting.
On Monday, Arbitrator Robert Hoffman ruled Stambaugh must be rehired at the Broward County Sheriff’s Office within the week among other orders the sheriff’s office must follow, according to the arbitrator’s ruling. Stambaugh makes the second deputy of the four to be rehired.
In May, Sgt. Brian Miller was given his job back, $138,410.25 in back pay and had his seniority reinstated. Miller was the first supervisor to respond to the mass shooting that killed 17 students and faculty members and injured another 17.
Stambaugh will be receiving similar treatment.
Hoffman has ordered the sheriff’s office to award him back pay dating back to the date of his firing on June 25, 2019; restore his benefits and seniority; reimburse him all out-of-pocket expenses from his firing; delete or explain his firing on his personnel records; and give him an opportunity to participate in missed or mandatory training.
Hoffman’s decision was based on a technicality, the ruling document read. Hoffman says Stambaugh was terminated 13 days past the deadline Florida law allows law enforcement officers to be punished.
The sheriff’s office’s general counsel said, “Once again, an arbitrator with no connection or association with Broward County has made a flawed decision to reinstate a deputy who was terminated for his response to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.”
“The arbitrator ruled on a procedural issue that BSO allegedly took too long to conduct the investigation, instead of addressing Joshua Stambaugh’s failures and holding him accountable for his lack of response during the MSD massacre,” the statement continued. “The Broward Sheriff’s Office will explore all legal options to address this erroneous decision.”
BSO has 90 days to appeal the decision, which the Sun Sentinel reports has been done and a hearing is scheduled for next month.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office International Union of Police Associations could not be immediately reached for comment.