WHEELING, W.Va. -- A judge says a fired Wheeling police officer recently acquitted of two sexual abuse charges can appeal his termination and must be put back on unpaid administrative leave.
WTOV says Ohio County Circuit Court Judge James Mazzone ruled Tuesday the city failed to follow proper procedures when it denied Matthew Kotson a termination hearing.
Kotson was indicted in January on sexual abuse, sexual assault and burglary charges. Authorities say four women accused him of misconduct. Two trials remain next year, in March and April.
Last month, Wheeling city Solicitor Rosemary Humway-Warmuth argued that the Police Civil Service Commission had fired Kotson for just cause: He had been driving a police cruiser without a license.
Kotson's lawyer said his client was entitled to a hearing but was fired without one.