After reaching agreement, officer plans to leave force
Township officials agreed to disregard a pending hearing about the officer's conduct.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- John M. Rosensteel will no longer wear the uniform and badge of township law enforcement.
The 34-year-veteran of the department has agreed to use accumulated sick leave and vacation time, to which he is entitled through Oct. 1. The lieutenant then will retire from township employment.
He is required to furnish a doctor's excuse for any sick time used.
Township officials have agreed to disregard a pending hearing before a hearing officer about Rosensteel's conduct. The agreement says he cannot seek employment through the township, but officials will provide a neutral letter stating he retired of his own will.
The agreement, accepted by trustees Monday, is among township trustees, Rosensteel and the Fraternal Order of Police.
The situation leading to the agreement began June 2.
A 24-year-old Youngstown woman said Rosensteel forced her into his truck in the lot of the Ground Round restaurant in the early morning hours after Rosensteel, the woman and several others had drinks in the bar. An internal investigation found that Rosensteel and the woman ended up at the Fireplace Restaurant and Lounge, where they had more drinks after the bar closed for the night.
The woman called police, who pulled the truck over later.
A Mahoning County grand jury decided not to indict Rosensteel. An internal investigation by township police, however, found Rosensteel to be responsible for three acts of misconduct.
Police Chief Jeffrey Patterson said Rosensteel broke the law by drinking alcohol at a bar after hours, brought discredit upon himself and the department by breaking that law in front of people who knew him to be a police officer, and engaged in conduct over the past two years that makes him not qualified to be a supervisor in the department.
A couple of weeks after the June 2 occurrence, Rosensteel was given a three-day unpaid suspension for using his access to vehicle registration information for personal reasons.
Two weeks after he returned from that suspension, Rosensteel was observed by Patterson creating a press release regarding his previous suspension and pending hearing. Patterson said Rosensteel was told that he could not make the release with police department equipment and that all press releases had to be cleared through the chief's office.
Rosensteel left the building taking a vacation day, and it was decided he would be placed on paid suspension until his hearing to avoid future disruptions, Patterson said.
Rosensteel insisted the matter has nothing to do with his conduct as an officer, and everything to do with a disagreement between him and the chief at a supervisor's meeting in February or March 2001.
He said the agreement proves his point.
"For two weeks, I have heard Jeff Patterson beating his chest and gums promising to serve up a Rosensteel sandwich to the community, but after trustees recommended this agreement he wasn't able to produce the beef or the bun the beef should go on," he said.
Rosensteel said his retirement has been planned for two years and is not a result of the investigation.
Patterson has said Rosensteel's allegation of a personal vendetta is "absurd."