BUCYRUS — The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office reportedly violated the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, according to a recent ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The affected former employee is Jason Tupps, who is scheduled to stand trial in April on charges related to a separate incident.
A recent ruling by the Cleveland office of the EEOC stated it found reasonable cause to believe the sheriff’s office discriminated against Tupps because of a disability, and in retaliation for engaging in protected activity when he was denied reasonable accommodation.
Tupps filed a complaint with the EEOC in December 2017, charging the sheriff’s office discriminated against him because of a disability. He alleges that in the months prior to submitting his complaint, he experienced medical issues, which may have been due to his job. A corrections officer at the county jail, Tupps reportedly experienced panic attacks and was taken to a hospital twice — once by ambulance from the county jail, and another time by a sheriff’s office commander.
Tupps says he requested a different schedule to accommodate his medical issues, explaining that he had worked aschedule of six days on, two days off for 21 years.
He said the sheriff’s office refused to adjust his schedule.
According to the EEOC, the sheriff’s office denied Tupps a reasonable accommodation and violated the ADA by placing Tupps on notice of suspected sick time abuse.
The commission also ruled the sheriff’s office has a medical leave policy that “tends to discriminate against employees with disabilities by not providing them with additional medical leave as a reasonable accommodation and instead placing them on disability separation after the expiration of a six-month disability leave and discharging them if they do not return from separation within one year,” which is in violation of the ADA.
The investigation also found that in violation of the ADA, the sheriff’s office has a “sick leave abuse policy that tends to discriminate against employees with disabilities by placing them on suspected sick leave abuse for a pattern of maintaining a zero or zero sick leave balance and/or for excessive absenteeism.”
Crawford County Sheriff Scott Kent said his office “adamantly disputes” the EEOC’s determination.
Tupps is no longer an employee of the sheriff’s office, having resigned in August 2018.
Tupps is expected to stand trial for allegedly pulling a gun on a woman in 2018 while intoxicated. That trial is set to begin April 28 in Crawford County Common Pleas Court. Judge Robert Pollex of Wood County will preside. The prosecutor is Maggie Tomaro, a state sassistant attorney general-special prosecutor.
Tupps faces multiple charges in connection with that incident, including abduction, a third-degree felony; improper handling of a firearm, a fourth-degree felony; and operating a vehicle under the influence, using a weapon while intoxicated and aggravated menacing, first-degree misdemeanors.
Tupps was arrested about 7 p.m. July 9, 2018, after Galion police found him pointing his pistol at a 25-year-old woman who was lying face-down on the ground, according to a Galion Police Department incident report.
According to reports, Tupps called 911 and told a dispatcher that a woman had rammed his vehicle and attempted to flee. During the 911 call, Tupps told the dispatcher he had the woman at gunpoint and requested back-up from the Galion Police Department. He can be heard on the 911 tape repeatedly warning the woman that, if she moved, he would shoot her. He refused to participate in field sobriety tests and yelled and cursed at officers.