Video Released of Worker Fired Over ‘Sick Day’

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MANSFIELD, Ohio — A former Richland County corrections officer was caught on camera working a construction job on the same day he called off sick.

Newly released surveillance video from earlier this year shows Oscar Benavides hard at work pouring concrete on a nice sunny day. Investigators said the same time this video was recorded, the man wearing a black t-shirt also called off sick from his county job.

This was not an isolated incident. Sheriff’s deputies spent several days recording Benavides doing manual labor after claims his health was not up to par.

In June 2011, Benavides requested “injury leave” after an inmate altercation that took place in January. Personnel documents reveal Benavides violated the sick leave policy Jan. 13 and 14, April 2, April 12-15 and April 19, 2012.

In May 2012, Benavides received a termination letter from the sheriff as a result of an administrative investigation that cited abuse of “sick leave.”

Taxpayers like Dave Leitenberger said, “If you’re going to blatantly do it, you’re going to get caught.”

“They got him, but how many more out there like that? That’s the question,” said James France. “That’s not right to other taxpayers. There’s people out there who work hard, that want a job.  If you don’t want the job, give it to someone who wants it.”

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