YPD Officer jailed for mask violation released after appeal
A member of the Youngstown Police Department was sentenced to more than a week in the Mahoning County Jail Friday morning.
Thomas Wisener was handed the sentence for contempt at Youngstown Municipal Court, according to the Clerk of Courts office.
They say Wisener did not wear a facemask in court back in February when he was set to testify as a witness in a case, which was a violation of their COVID-19 masking policy.
Officer Wisener was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt during a hearing Friday morning.
Judge Carla Baldwin handed down a 10-day sentence and a $250 fine.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene told 21 News that Officer Wisener has been booked into the jail.
The Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association (OBPA) filed an appeal and motion to stay in the Seventh District Court of Appeals Friday afternoon. The release said the mask mandate interfered with Officer Wisener's deeply held religious beliefs.
The OBPA argued that the 10-day sentence was excessive.
Shortly after, the Court of Appeals ordered Wisener to be released on his own recognizance.
The court of appeals will review the case. According to Youngstown Law Director, Jeff Limbian, this could take weeks or even months.
Wisener was hired by the Youngstown Police Department in July 2013.
He previously faced disciplinary action after admitting that he did not formally charge the brother of a YPD officer with OVI in 2014. He was suspended for 15 days without pay because of the incident.
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The Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association told 21 News that they are planning to appeal.
21 News reached out to Wisener for comment but he declined.
We have also reached out to Youngstown Police Department but have not heard back.
Copy of the appeal: