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Wash. prison guards who were fired after corrections officer slaying reinstated with back pay

An arbitrator says the Washington Department of Corrections was wrong to fire three corrections officers and demote a sergeant for failings related to the death of a guard.

The Daily Herald reports (http://bit.ly/14GICT3 ) prison officials had accused the four of misconduct, dereliction of duty and of purposely misleading investigators in the death of officer Jayme Biendl at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

In an arbitration ruling signed Sunday, the arbitrator ruled in favor of an appeal from the Teamsters union. He ordered the reinstatement of the three officers and the sergeant with back pay and benefits. The arbitrator says the four should have been reprimanded, not fired.

Biendl was strangled in January 2011 in the prison chapel. Inmate Byron Scherf was convicted of aggravated murder in May and sentenced to death.

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com

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