MASON CITY (Globe Gazette) — The trial of former Mason City police officer Maria Ohl will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 24 in Cerro Gordo County District Court, according to the court administrator’s office. A trial-setting conference was held Friday.
Ohl, 37, lost her job with the force in August 2011 for allegedly violating departmental rules and policies related to possible evidence in a criminal case. She served the force for 10 years.
She appealed her dismissal to the Mason City Civil Service Commission which upheld Chief Mike Lashbrook’s actions after two days of testimony in September 2011. She is appealing the ruling in district court.
The court can order Ohl’s reinstatement or uphold the Civil Service Commission decision.
The commission in its decision last year said Ohl, according to Lashbrook, mishandled information she allegedly received regarding the 1995 disappearance of KIMT-TV morning anchor Jodi Huisentruit. She implicated several officers in the disappearance and possible cover-up.
The commission said Ohl neglected her duty as an officer by not documenting possible evidence and by doing so interfered with an investigation; and that she failed to properly secure police records and misused mobile audio and video recording equipment.
In 2010 Ohl filed claims of sex discrimination, religion discrimination and retaliation against the department with the Mason City Human Rights Commission and filed a lawsuit in federal district court. That case remains pending.