Last Tuesday, the Riverside City Council voted unaminously to appeal the arbitrator's ruling that reversed the firing of former police sergeant Gregory Preece, in Superior Court.
The city has decided to file a writ of Mandate with the superior court to contest the ruling made by John D. Perone to reinstate Preece, and all his back pay, dating back to September 1, 1999. Perone ruled that the firing was excessive, and a response to public outcry from the shooting death of Tyisha Miller, rather than the actions of Preece. The city argued that due to the severity of his actions and his inability to acknowlege that he had done anything wrong, that Preece was unretrainable. Mayor pro tem Laura Pearson, in a press release, said that the actions committed by Preece on Dec. 28, 1998 were unacceptable to the city of Riverside, a comment that surprised many community members.
In the same release, Mayor Ron Loveridge supported the Council's vote to appeal Perone's ruling. "We believe the Police Department's initial penalty, imposed in 1999, for his conduct was thoughtful, appropriate and just," he said.
Preece's counsel argued that Preece did not have enough time at the scene to respond to the events as they occurred.