Probe concludes Manny Nites violated WPD policy

A police captain will make a decision on whether to file administrative charges.

WARREN — An internal-affairs investigation has determined Emanuel Nites of the Warren Police Department violated departmental policy July 31 by calling off sick the night before his son played a baseball game in Chesapeake, Ohio.

Sgt. Jeff Cole, internal-affairs officer, determined that Nites violated the police union’s contract when he called off sick to care for his sick father and son.

It will be up to his supervisor, Capt. Janice Gilmore, to decide whether Nites will be charged administratively. Any punishment resulting from the charges would be determined by acting Chief Tim Bowers.

Nites is the same officer demoted from sergeant and suspended for coaching and watching youth basketball games while on the clock in January, February and March.

Nites and three supervis0rs, who were suspended for varying amounts of time for covering for Nites by falsifying time sheets, appealed their punishment. They are set for a Sept. 8 grievance hearing.

In a memo to Gilmore dated Aug. 21 and made public Friday, Cole said Nites had a duty to return to Warren to work his 10-hour shift July 31 after dropping his sick father off with a cousin in Columbus.

Nites was scheduled to work from 8:45 p.m. July 31 to 7 a.m. Aug. 1 but called off sick at 5:51 p.m. July 31, documents say.

Nites, in a memo to Cole, said he called off sick July 31 after discovering that his father needed to go to a relative’s house in Columbus because of an illness.

Nites took his father to Columbus and left Columbus at 8 p.m., Nites told Cole. He, his wife and his son then traveled to Ashland, Ky., where he checked into a hotel at 10 p.m. The next day, his son’s baseball team played in a baseball tournament game in Chesapeake, Ohio.

In a memo, Nites said he had planned to work July 31, but he learned that afternoon that his father and son were not feeling well, and there was no one locally who could watch his father.

So he, his wife, his son and his father went to Columbus, where a cousin cared for Nites’ father.

“The logical thinking at this point was to continue to travel to Chesapeake, as my [work] shift had already started,” Nites wrote.

Later in the memo, Nites wrote, “Being approximately two hours away from Chesapeake, we believed the best thing for [Nites’ son] was to get him to the hotel, where we could take care of him there.”

Cole said Nites’ own statement makes clear that Nites never intended to return to Warren when he left to take his father to Columbus.

“Officer Nites did provide care, and/or medical attention to his ill father. But based on his own statement that being two hours away from Chesapeake, and checking into the Hampton Hotel at [10 p.m.], his father was out of his care at [8 p.m.],” Cole wrote.

“Therefore, an attempt should have been made to return for duty and not use the sick time to travel to Ashland, Ky.,” Cole wrote.

Cole was also asked to look into the nine work shifts between June 13 and July 25 for which Nites called off sick, but Cole noted there were no policy violations noticed in that.

“However, there is an obvious pattern that indicates Nites uses sick time in conjunction with his regularly scheduled days off of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,” Cole wrote.

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