WARREN Mayor, director discuss police chief
About a dozen police officers sat outside the closed-door hearing to show support for the police chief.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Within a few weeks, Mayor Hank Angelo will decide if he should recommend that the police chief be disciplined.
Angelo and Fred Harris, city service and safety director, conducted a pre-disciplinary hearing for Police Chief John Mandopoulos on Monday at city hall. The two-hour hearing took place in the mayor's office and was closed to the public
About a dozen police officers sat in the hall to show support for Mandopoulos. Many said they were not surprised by the hearing because it has been well documented that there is no love lost between city hall officials and Mandopoulos. The chief was banned from city hall at one point two years ago during a disagreement with the administration on the operation of the police department.
According to the pre-disciplinary letter, dated Aug. 22 and signed by Angelo, the chief is facing administrative charges of inefficiency and gross neglect of duty.
If the mayor determines that the chief is guilty of those charges, he could recommend that the city's civil service commission give him a reprimand, suspend or terminate him. The mayor declined to say when he may make a recommendation.
"This is an internal personnel matter and I have no comment," Angelo said.
Mandopoulos also declined to comment on the matter.
Atty. J. Walter Dragelevich, who represents Mandopoulos, said he believes the meeting was "productive."
"This allowed everyone to see the other's position," Dragelevich said.
According to the letter, the chief has failed to comply with several orders from Harris and has not cooperated with the county sheriff's department.
"Through your orders, actions and words, you have prevented good and necessary cooperation between the Trumbull County Sheriff's Department and the Warren City Police Department," the letter states. Angelo declined to elaborate.
Sheriff Thomas Altiere said he has always gotten along with Mandopoulos.
"I didn't think there was a problem," the sheriff said. "I know there were some problems with our drug task force and ATF when they did a raid and asked for assistance from Warren and they wouldn't come."
The pre-disciplinary letter also states that Sept. 27, Harris ordered the chief to make sure all police officers use the time clock when they arrive to work and leave. The letter states that the chief has "done nothing" to make sure all officers clock in and out.
The letter says that Dec. 10, the director ordered the chief to provide a financial analysis of all overtime worked every pay. The letter states that Mandopoulos failed to abide by the order.
The chief has also not complied with an order to complete investigations into citizen complaints in 30 days, has failed to get approval before allowing an officer to fill in as a captain and did not take any disciplinary action against an officer who was late for work for eight days, the letter states.