(Globe Gazette) MASON CITY — The court case of Maria Ohl, the Mason City police officer who is appealing her firing by the Mason City Police Department, has been continued. Ohl was fired last year for alleged misconduct. She appealed her dismissal to the Mason City Civil Service Commission, which upheld her firing. She then appealed the commission decision to district court. The hearing was to begin Wednesday. City Administrator Brent Trout said the city was prepared to go to trial Wednesday and did not ask for the continuance.
Ohl, who is acting as her own counsel, was not available for comment Monday. Trout said a meeting between the parties with District Judge Chris Foy is to be held Nov. 14.
Ohl was fired by Police Chief Mike Lashbrook in August 2011 for reportedly not following department rules and procedures regarding possible evidence in a criminal case.
The commission in its decision in September agreed with Lashbrook that Ohl mishandled information she allegedly received regarding the 1995 disappearance of KIMT-TV morning anchor Jodi Huisentruit.
The commission ruled Ohl neglected her duty by not documenting possible evidence and in doing so interfered with an investigation, and that she failed to properly secure police records and misused mobile audio and video recording equipment.
In a separate matter, Ohl also filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming sex discrimination, religious discrimination and retaliation by the Police Department.
That case will be heard in 2013.