State arbitrator orders BART to reinstate officer

December 18, 2010 1:59:55 PM PST
One of the BART police officers on the scene when Oscar Grant was shot to death by another officer is getting her job back. BART had accused her of lying to investigators and a judge about the killing.

Former BART Officer Marysol Domenici was ordered reinstated with full back pay and benefits after an independent arbitrator found Domenici had not lied in her statement and testimony during the investigation of the shooting death of Grant.

BART Director Lynette Sweet was disappointed with the decision and said they had proved Domenici was untruthful and covered up some of the facts.

"We got an internal investigation, we had an external investigation so to have this one arbitrator come back and tell us, 'Well, you need to rehire her because you can't prove she didn't lie to you,'" Sweet said.

Domenici and her partner, former BART Officer Anthony Pirone, were on the platform when Grant and others were detained on Jan. 1, 2009 when things quickly got out of hand. Unarmed, Grant was shot by former BART Officer Johannes Mehserle. He was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Domenici's attorney says her client feels vindicated.

"She was consistent in everything she said from the very first night on Jan. 1, all the way through to her testimony during the arbitration, so she has always given the same statements concerning the events that occurred, so that's simply not true," Allison Berry Wilkinson said.

Before returning to the force, Domenici must pass a physical.

"The process is that she must undergo a fitness for duty evaluation and following that she could be reinstated," BART Chief Spokesperson Linton Johnson said.

Domenici's attorney says she will be return to BART as an officer. Pirone was also fired after the incident. His appeal is pending.

John Burris is the attorney representing Grant's family. He does not think Pirone will be reinstated.

"If he is reinstated that is a miscarriage of justice and is the worst possible outcome," Burris said.

There is still a civil case pending against Pirone, Mehserle and Domenici.


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