Iowa County Fires 911 Dispatcher Caught Sleeping

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By Ben Hoppenworth

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa sheriff has fired a 911 dispatcher who was caught sleeping on the job twice in three months.

A legal ruling released Monday says Marianne Lynch was found sleeping in a blanket on Nov. 5 while she was working the overnight shift at the Dickinson County communications center.

The ruling says Lynch slept through phone calls, radio inquiries and intercom messages from a jail employee and other officer communications, but none that involved emergency situations.

Sheriff Greg Baloun promptly fired Lynch, who had been given a five-day suspension for on-the-job sleeping in August.

The communications center in Spirit Lake handles calls for police, fire and ambulance service for municipalities in Dickinson County. Lynch had worked there since January 2009.

A judge denied Lynch's application for unemployment benefits.

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