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BOARDMAN Officer will face conduct hearing



Published: Wed, July 31, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A date for a hearing will be set within 15 days.

By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

BOARDMAN -- A township police officer accused of abducting and threatening a Youngstown woman will not see the inside of a courtroom.

Lt. John M. Rosensteel will have to defend himself in front of a hearing officer after a police department internal investigation into the matter found several instances of professional misconduct.

Carrie Eckert, 24, accused Rosensteel, 57, of forcing her into his truck in the lot of the Ground Round restaurant in the early morning of June 2 after Rosensteel, Eckert and several others had drinks in the bar after it closed for the night.

Eckert said she was eventually able to call police, who pulled the truck over.

A Mahoning County grand jury later 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 the department will not hold Rosensteel accountable for the alleged abduction because a grand jury found there was not enough evidence for the charge.

What happened

Patterson said Rosensteel did break 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.

Rosensteel was suspended and lost vacation time in 2000 for an off-duty matter and was again suspended in July for improper use of the Law Enforcement Automated Data System.

Trustees voted Tuesday to send the findings before a hearing officer who will decide if there is sufficient evidence to merit punishment from the department. Rosensteel will be allowed to present his side to the hearing officer.

Patterson said he will recommend an additional 10-day suspension and demotion from lieutenant to patrolman. Trustees can accept the recommendation or choose another punishment for Rosensteel.

A hearing date must be set within 15 days, but either side can have the hearing postponed for up to 14 days.

Rosensteel has been with the police department for 34 years. He is scheduled to retire in October.

jgoodwin@vindy.com




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