Warren, Mahoning police face discipline

WARREN – A Warren police officer was placed on administrative leave. In an unrelated case, three Mahoning County sheriff’s deputies are undergoing discipline in a traffic stop of a county official.

In Warren, “Officer Rueben Shaw has been placed on paid administration leave,” Mayor Doug Franklin said Tuesday afternoon. “The duration of the leave will be determined by the results of the investigation.”

He declined to say what the internal police investigation involved.

In Mahoning County, deputies are being disciplined over a traffic stop involving County Auditor Michael Sciortino.

The deputies – Sgt. James Touville, Lt. T.J. Assion and Maj. Jeff Allen – are facing actions because Sciortino was not arrested on drunken driving charges after the 11:25 p.m. May 26 traffic stop near U.S. Route 224, according to a WYTV 33 News report.

It was Assion, the sheriff department’s union leader, who ”un-arrested” Sciortino on the drunken driving charge and gave him a ride home, according to the report.

Assion has been demoted to the rank of sergeant, and loses $19,000 a year in pay.

Discipline has yet to be determined for Touville, who made the stop.

Allen, the shift commander for the night, was suspended for 10 days because he failed to inform Sheriff Jerry Greene of any high profile situations, the report states.

Greene told 33 News that the two deputies making the stop improperly intervened.

Since no breath test was given at the time and Assion drove Sciortino home, charging him only with weaving across marked lanes while driving, Greene said he will likely never be charged. Sciortino paid the $130 fine for the marked lanes violation, according to 33 News.

Greene said Sciortino failed field sobriety tests and was under arrest for drunken driving before Assion stepped in.

“Commander Assion is a heavy lifter, a hard worker and is very intelligent,” told 33 News. “He’s very valuable to this agency. Commander Assion let this agency down more than he’ll ever know. It’s a tough decision to make.”

Assion declined comment when reached on Tuesday.

Greene said the FBI interviewed Sciortino, but he would not reveal why.

In Warren, the city has terminated three police officers in the last year, including Manny Nites, David Gallagher, and Jeffery Miller, according to Warren Safety-Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa.

Miller was terminated for failing to follow the terms of his probation. He had a previous arrest in connection with drinking and driving as well as domestic violence.

Nites was terminated in 2012 after it was learned he participated in a fantasy football league while he was on duty. He previously was cited for coaching youth basketball games while on duty.

Gallagher was fired in May because he was unable to perform the necessary physical activity required of the job.