WARREN - A city police officer arrested and placed in Mahoning County jail last month for failing to comply with terms of his probation was fired Wednesday.
Officer Jeffery Miller was arrested on a Nov. 13 bench warrant after he failed to comply with a March 20 court order that required him to attend a 28-day alcohol program and undergo alcohol / drug counseling.
In a letter to Miller, police Chief Timothy Bowers said Miller had failed his oath of office by violating, instead of upholding, the law; failed to uphold the department's ethics policies; and was absent without leave from from Nov. 17 to 20 due to his arrest.
A predisciplinary hearing was held Nov. 27, with Lt. Dan Mason and Sgt. Jeff Cole and Bowers representing the city. Officer John Massarro and attorney Max Rieker of the Ohio Patrolman's Benevolence Association represented Miller.
Miller was arrested three times over two years.
He was arrested on charges of domestic violence Nov. 17, 2010. Those charges were later dismissed by a Niles judge.
He was arrested Sept. 22, 2011, in Boardman by the Ohio State Patrol on a charge of operating a motorized vehicle while impaired. At the time, Miller refused to take a breath test.
"You told the officer at the scene that you were upset after the accident," Bowers wrote in the dismissal letter. "So, while you were waiting for him to arrive, you walked to a convenient store and bought beer, then consumed it as you walked back to the scene of the accident."
During a Dec. 27, 2011, predisciplinary hearing, Miller admitted that this was untrue and he was untruthful to the investigating officer, Bowers wrote in the letter.
"In addition, you stated to me, 'I should not have been driving the vehicle,'" Bowers wrote.
In September 2011, Miller missed work from Sept. 24 to 27. A pre-disciplinary hearing was held on Feb. 6, 2012.
"You testified that you were not thinking right, drinking and do not remember," Bowers wrote. "You did not dispute that you were absent without leave. You apologized and were told that your DUI arrest in Boardman was still under investigation."
A March 12 drunken driving charge was was reduced to reckless driving and Miller was placed on probation and fined.
On May 24, Miller was charged by the Boardman court with violating his probation and given a $2,500 bond. A failure to appear warrant for Miller's arrest was issued on Nov. 13, after probation violation hearings were held on July 14, Aug 14, Aug. 28 and Sept. 10. Miller was arrested at the Boardman court on the probation violation and given a 28-day sentence. He spent the next five days in the Mahoning County jail.
"This last incident makes it clear that you have no respect for your oath of office or the laws you swore to uphold," Bowers wrote in the letter presented to Miller on Wednesday.
Miller began working as a Warren police officer in November 1995.
Efforts to reach OPBA attorney Rieker were not successful Thursday.