Mediator orders Gilbert to rehire former official

GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) — A mediator has ordered Gilbert to rehire and provide retroactive back pay to a water manager who was fired when it was discovered that the Phoenix suburb's water hadn't been fluoridated for a long time.

The Arizona Republic ( ) reports that mediator Steven Guttell declared that Chris Ochs' was unfairly terminated last September.

Ochs said he shut off the town's fluoridation system over a year earlier because of malfunctions but that he'd told his superior.

Guttell says the firing of Ochs should be overturned because there was disparity in how Ochs and his superior were treated. The superior was allowed to retire.

Fluoridation helps fight tooth decay.

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