Forsyth County - Robine M. Riffle is looking into next steps after the Forsyth County Civil Service Board denied her appeal to be reinstated with the county’s sheriff’s office.
“I have a pretty good case that I might send to the [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission]. I just haven’t decided yet,” she said. “I should have been disciplined; I should never have been fired.” Riffle’s employment was terminated Dec. 5 for neglect of duty and failure to comply with orders, as well as prior job performance, according to the termination notice.
The termination followed an October car chase when Riffle “failed to take appropriate action and give suitable attention.” The chase involved two investigators and a burglary suspect, who drove away when he was approached by law enforcement. Though Jeffery Scott Hamilton,33, was arrested after the chase, Riffle did not stop to help her fellow officers get the suspect in custody, had to be ordered to return to the scene and didn’t complete a supplemental report of the incident as directed.
In a letter explaining its decision, the board wrote that after reviewing testimony of witnesses and evidence, including a video tape of the incident in question, “for the separate charges of Neglect of Duty and Duty to Read/Understand/Comply with Orders, the board finds that the evidence supported the charges.” “The board denies the appeal and affirms the termination of employment,” the letter concluded.
Riffle had been with the sheriff’s office for a decade. She joined following nine years of service as an Army specialist. She is currently unemployed and unable to collect unemployment insurance, she said. She also noted that because of the termination, she’s been turned down from several jobs in law enforcement. “I’m being blocked from trying to get a job in law enforcement,” she said. “It is ruining my career, my livelihood.”