By Roslyn Giles
(WTVM) Columbus- On January 18, 2008, former Columbus Police Officer Rosco Castle and Corporal Jeff Fox took a Fort Benning soldier to jail. According to reports, a videotape shows Castle striking Hosea Corral. Fox tried to break up the fight. Police initiated an investigation after Corral filed a report against the officer. Castle later resigned and Fox was fired from the police department in February, 2009.
"Officer Fox maintained that he never did anything wrong. He only intervened to stop the fight. He never hit Mr. Corral", says Attorney Stacey Jackson, Fox's lawyer.
Jackson says his client filed an appeal with the city. The Personnel Review Board recently heard the case and decided that the punishment did not fit the offense. Tom Barron told News Leader 9, "the board found that Fox did the right thing to start with but didn't continue, he failed to report it and did not respond truthfully about the incident."
"They said he lied about the incident when asked whether Castle choked Corral. Fox said, no. The video shows Castle putting his arm around Corral's neck and according to Webster, choking means you apply pressure around someone's neck to the point that they gasp for air," added Jackson.
Instead of losing his job, Fox was given two weeks of unpaid suspension for making untruthful statements and not revealing his knowledge of what transpired. Jackson says Fox feels vindicated and on the other hand, is also feeling like a victim of retaliation; now the he's back on the job.
"For nine years he has not had to work the morning shift which is from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. The administrators who have the authority to change his schedule are aware that his wife has cancer. He needs to be there at night to care of her and we think that is there way of retaliating against him," explained Jackson.
In the meantime, Jackson also says his client has filed a discrimination complaint against the police department with the E-E-O-C. The case is still pending.
News Leader 9 tried to reach Police Chief Ricky Boren for comment, but our phone calls were not returned.