updated 11/6/2008 12:26:51 PM ET 2008-11-06T17:26:51

Two Ohio state police troopers have won back their jobs after being fired for pulling a Ku Klux Klan-type costume prank the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

An arbitrator ruled Tuesday that the firings in May violated a union contract. The Highway Patrol said Wednesday that Craig Franklin and Eric Wlodarsky will return to work within 30 days. They also get back pay and benefits.

A patrol investigation found that Franklin had dressed in a white cone, mask and cloth, and that Wlodarsky sent a cell phone photo to a colleague.

The Ohio State Troopers Association's attorney Herschel Sigall said the incident was "stupid, but not vicious." He criticized Gov. Ted Strickland for seeking the firings.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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