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WARREN Leaders welcome federal agency



Published: Tue, August 14, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mayor Angelo said representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice would be in town for a few days.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

and AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Community relations was on the menu when city officials played host to the U.S. Department of Justice for dinner.

Mayor Hank Angelo said he served sandwiches to the officials and other community leaders because the closed-door session Monday was held during the dinner hour.

"It's not a big fancy dinner," Angelo said. "I'm just offering some food in case anyone is hungry."

The mayor said the meeting, conducted at city hall, was a follow-up to the city's last meeting with the federal agency.

The guest list included unnamed Department of Justice officials, Mayor Hank Angelo, city safety-service director Fred Harris, Police Chief John Mandopoulos, the city's police captains and members of the local National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Few invited: Angelo said beforehand he expected about 15 people would show. The community and the press were not invited.

The meeting allowed officials to explain the city's hiring and recruitment process, Angelo said.

"This is about fostering better community relations," the mayor said.

He noted that the federal agency plans to spend a few days in the city.

"I think this meeting and the next couple of days will be very positive for the city," Angelo said.

The mayor noted that several city officials and community leaders will meet at 9 a.m. Aug. 20 at the city Community Development Building to discuss race relations.

Prior meeting: The Department of Justice met with city officials last month after Lamont Murray, 29, of Warren filed a complaint saying Sgt. Rob Massucci and patrol officer David Weber used excessive force when they arrested him June 25.

The police department's internal affairs division is investigating. Mandopoulos said he will ask the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation to probe the matter when the department is finished.

Massucci has said the two officers did not use excessive force when making the arrest.

Police said they stopped the car Murray was riding in because the driver of the vehicle failed to put on a turn signal before making a turn.

Murray is facing charges of assault of a police officer, obstructing official business and resisting arrest. He has pleaded innocent and is free on a $3,500 bond.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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