(1) The director of natural resources shall not appoint a person as a natural resources officer under section 1501.24 of the Revised Code on a permanent or temporary basis or for a probationary term if the person previously has been convicted of or has pleaded guilty to a felony.
(a) The director shall terminate the employment of a natural resources officer if the officer does either of the following:
(i) Pleads guilty to a felony;
(ii) Pleads guilty to a misdemeanor pursuant to a negotiated plea agreement as provided in division (D) of section 2929.43 of the Revised Code in which the officer agrees to surrender the certificate awarded to the officer under section 109.77 of the Revised Code.
(b) The director shall suspend a natural resources officer from employment if that person is convicted, after trial, of a felony. If the natural resources officer files an appeal from that conviction and the conviction is upheld by the highest court to which the appeal is taken or if the officer does not file a timely appeal, the director shall terminate the employment of that officer. If the officer files an appeal that results in the officer's acquittal of the felony or conviction of a misdemeanor, or in the dismissal of the felony charge against the officer, the director shall reinstate that officer. A natural resources officer who is reinstated under division (B)(2)(b) of this section shall not receive any back pay unless that officer's conviction of the felony was reversed or dismissed on appeal because the court found insufficient evidence to convict the officer of the felony.
(3) Division (B) of this section does not apply regarding an offense that was committed prior to January 1, 1997.
(4) The director shall suspend or terminate the employment of a natural resources officer under division (B)(2) of this section in accordance with Chapter 119. of the Revised Code.
Added by 131st General Assembly File No. TBD, SB 293, §1, eff. 9/14/2016.