WARREN - The city's police chief has levied several ethics and professional misconduct charges against a patrolman who has been on paid leave since July.
Eric Merkel, in a letter dated April 18 and released Monday, advised Reuben Shaw of the violations that resulted from an internal investigation.
Shaw is scheduled to appear at a predisciplinary hearing today. Merkel wrote that the purpose of the hearing is to give Shaw the opportunity to explain his alleged misconduct.
The chief charges that Shaw did not follow proper procedure on June 30, 2013, when he removed a 1969 Chevrolet Nova from a locked garage at a residential property at 2320 Kenwood Drive. Merkel wrote, "This removal was done without the authorization of the titled owner of the vehicle, and was done without permission or request of the property owner."
Merkel also states that the internal investigation demonstrates that Shaw used his position as a Warren police officer to have May's Towing transport the vehicle to a garage Shaw "controlled, as opposed to having the vehicle towed to an impound lot."
Merkel charges that "these and other actions demonstrate engagement in private activities while on duty and while being paid as a City of Warren police officer."
Shaw has also been the focus of a criminal investigation that include some of the same allegations. Last month, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation handed over its investigation into possible criminal charges to the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office. That case is still pending.
Merkel informed Shaw by letter in July that he was being put on paid leave pending ''any criminal and / or administrative investigations regarding the towing of a motor vehicle from private property.''
Merkel said he asked for BCI's assistance because he was concerned the incident was a ''potentially criminal matter.''
Warren Safety-Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa said the predisciplinary hearing, which was originally to be held earlier this week, was moved to today. He did not say why.
Merkel advised Shaw in the April 18 correspondence that the patrolman had violated these police ethics:
And these professional conduct and personal bearing policies:
Also, responsibilities and general conduct on duty: