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STRUTHERS Mayor to probe handling of case



Published: Sat, November 10, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The mayor said officers will be reprimanded if they failed to perform their duties in a criminal investigation.

By PAUL WHEATLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

STRUTHERS -- Police are still investigating a May 27 burglary at the home of Councilman Daniel Yemma's girlfriend.

They aren't talking about the case, however, because the investigation has not ended.

Mayor Dan Mamula said, however, he wants to examine how police handled the criminal investigation after Yemma aired his dissatisfaction with the matter at a council police and fire committee meeting earlier this week.

During the meeting, Yemma said police never interviewed Regina Romeo's Como Street neighbors or her ex-husband, Michael J. Romeo, whom she listed as a main suspect in the case.

"I was concerned that maybe our police did not go after this aggressively enough," he said.

Original suspect: In the police report, Romeo said someone broke through the door of her home and left with her purse, $20, three credit cards and a book of checks. She originally said Yemma was a suspect before listing Romeo, 38, of Campbell, as the culprit.

Yemma told those at the committee meeting that he cleared his name with police the morning of the burglary.

"I don't go around busting down doors of people that I have disagreements with," he said.

A number of her forged checks turned up over the summer and were not honored. Romeo told police that managers of various stores where the checks were passed identified her ex-husband as the suspect.

Michael Romeo was indicted by a Mahoning County grand jury on three counts of receiving stolen property and three counts of forgery in August. A trial date has not been set.

"If there was a failure to perform, they will be reprimanded," Mamula said of police investigators during the committee meeting.

Mamula said Thursday that he had not conducted an official investigation but that he thinks the case is being handled appropriately. He plans to further analyze the matter when the case is closed.

Still, Mamula said he is irked that Yemma didn't notify his office of the complaint earlier.

John Sveda, city safety-service director, said no one has filed a formal complaint with his office concerning the investigation.

Police Chief Bob Norris would not comment on the investigation.

wheatley@vindy.com




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