Nov 26, 2019 3:17 PM

Judge upholds reinstatement of fired train engineer

Posted Nov 26, 2019 3:17 PM

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A judge who disagreed with an arbitration board’s decision that a fired train engineer should be reinstated has upheld the board’s ruling.

Union Pacific had sued the employee union to overturn the board’s order to put Matthew Lebsack back on the job. The lawsuit says Lebsack walked past the locomotive cab bathroom on Nov. 20, 2016, when the train was stopped. It says he left the locomotive and defecated on the metal knuckle that connected the locomotive to a rail car.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that U.S. District Court Judge Brian Buescher said in his Thursday ruling that he didn’t understand why the board didn’t think Lebsack’s conduct was worthy of upholding his termination.

But Buescher also said the law doesn’t let him consider the merits of the arbitration board's decision, but only whether that decision fell within its discretion under the provisions of railroad-union contract. He says Union Pacific presented no evidence showing the board’s decision was not within its discretion.

Officials say the railroad hasn’t decided whether to appeal.

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Nov 26, 2019 3:17 PM
Rapid City man sentenced for his role in massive meth ring

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man accused in a conspiracy to move large quantities of methamphetamine from Colorado to South Dakota has been sentenced to more than 17 years in prison.

Authorities say 29-year-old Sebastian Hoff was one of several distributors in the ring led by Dana Faulkner, also known as Diablo. Faulkner is accused of transporting up to 99 pounds (45 kilograms) of meth to be sold in the Rapid City area in the summer of 2017.

Hoff pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 17 years and five months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised released.

The 41-year-old Faulkner, of Aurora, Colorado was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and branding a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.