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2 Vienna officers resign after money probe

Published: Sat, September 17, 2011 @ 12:06 a.m.

BY Jordan Cohen



Two veteran township police officers resigned Friday in the wake of an investigation into the disappearance of $1,500 of community- group funds from a police department safe.

The probe is being turned over to the Trumbull County Sheriff’s office.

The two are Patrolmen Jeffrey Ford, 35, and Nicholas Maccione, 28. Both had been Vienna police officers since 2004.

In a special meeting Friday evening in which more than 40 residents packed the small township hall, trustees voted to accept the resignations, with Trustee Heidi Brown accepting Ford’s “with regret.” However, after the meeting, Brown revealed that she had asked for both men’s resignations.

None of the trustees would comment further about the investigation.

Police Chief Brian Darby said the $1,500 consisted of “block-watch and Christmas-fund money.” Darby told The Vindicator that he first learned the money was missing when Ford told him about it last July.

Darby declined to say whether either officer took the money or whether any of the missing funds have been recovered.

Darby also said that both officers had taken polygraph tests in Akron, but he refused to say whether either or both failed the examinations.

He also was reluctant to use the word “theft” to describe the investigation.

“They both are good guys, and we’re all best friends,” the chief said.

During the public meeting, Richard Dascenzo Jr., trustee chairman, said trustees would not accept or answer any questions about the probe but would allow residents to comment.

Most of the speakers promptly criticized the trustees for refusing to provide more information. A number of others praised Ford despite the allegations about his role in the money’s disappearance.

“Losing Jeff Ford for this community is a tremendous loss,” said resident Gerald Rassega to loud applause.

However, a number of speakers directed their anger at Darby, whom they accused of failing to provide leadership.

Darby is the only full-time member of the department. The remaining 15 officers are part time.

“It’s a shame to see what’s become of our police department,” said Phil Pegg, a former trustee. “There’s a lack of direction.”

“We’re lacking one resignation and that’s the leader of the police department,” said Tarin Brown, a member of the Mathews school board.

Several residents voiced fears that they may never learn “the truth about what happened” and questioned whether they could again trust either the trustees or police.

“We know we have our work cut out for us,” Heidi Brown responded.

Contacted after the meeting, Maj. Thomas Stewart of the sheriff’s department said investigators will review the material turned over by the township, but was uncertain what the result might be.

“I’m not sure if any criminal charges will be filed,” Stewart said late Friday.

Darby said the incident has caused him to change his policy about holding community funds. “No more cash will be kept in the police safe,” the chief said.


1valleynative19(52 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

While these two officers are off of Vienna's payroll they are still employed in public sector jobs from what I understand.
Ford is a 911 dispatcher at the trumbull county 911 center.
Maccione works at the juvenile justice center.
So these two poster children for Senate Bill 5 are still getting paid by the taxpayers.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

It sounds like these two scumbags stole the money and should be arrested. Why were they let off so easy? The government employee good old boys club! Vienna citizens deserve honest answers. Support SB5 and end this farse.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

A simple bank deposit could have prevented all the controversy .

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4concernedcitizen1960(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Why did the residents praise a thief? Are they okay with him stealing money that they themselves probably donated to the police department? If they resigned then obviously they are guilty, why else would they quit. Was it wrong of the chief to trust his guys that they wouldn't take the money? NO.. The chief did nothing wrong but trust his guys and then you say it was a lack of direction. Do you think he directed them to the money and said take it? Come on people they stole and quit, do you think the other part-times want to continue to work with thieves, I wouldn't want to work at a place that a thief was still working at.

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5Miki(99 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The problem with the Vienna Police is a lack of leadership and accountability. Since the Chief was promoted the department deteriorated. Police reports can now take 3 to 6 weeks to be obtained-it was 72 hours, Vehicles are not being logged as to who is driving/damaging them, faulty monthly reports are being given to the trustees (the Chief reported 4 B&Es in June when there were 8 in one night that I know of), the vehicle, shed, garage & home break ins are happening weekly, Now $1500 of community money is missing. The Chief solution is that he will not keep money in the safe from now on. Then there will only be drugs and evidence to be stolen? There is no accountability or leadership from the Chief or Trustees!

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6Oldfriend78(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Oh please..anytime something like this happens, everyone wants to blame someone else!! The guy(s) who did this are to blame, no one else. They need to take responsibility for what they did!! The public seem to have loved Ford.. they trusted him.. Well, so did the Chief! I always see the chief out in the community.When the old chief was there, he was never to be seen. Darbey was the "chief" then. He is always working off-shifts but he can't be there 24/7. And if officers can't be trusted with sensitive files and information, well they shouldn't be officers.
The major problems I see are: Darbey doesn't get enough help from the trustees AND the neighborhood watch thinks they run the township. Darbey can ask and ask for help with certain things from the trustees but if they don't help, his hands are tied. I think the neighborhood watch should remember who they really are (not government officals) and let everyone do their jobs.. the guy(s) who are involved with this money issue resigned as it should be! Even if Ford was a nice guy, nice guys sometimes make bad mistakes and sometimes mistakes can ruin their lives. Not fair to try and place the blame on somene else. MOVE ON!

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7firemedic18173(3 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

First off valley native these guys are no longer working for the police department so there for it is none of our business what other jobs they work, union forever apparently your not much of a union supporter at all if u support sb5! Sand what the hell does Senate bill 5 have to do with this? We don't even know the truth about this it was turned over to the SO of they are guilty they deserve to pay the price if no then you are hypocrites for slander then we don't even know they are guilty! So I think its time we quit being judge and jury!

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8Code6(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

It's nice to know that everyone directs the blame to Chief Darbey. When in all reality there was nothing he could do to prevent this situation. You all say there's lack of direction and leadership, no one mus recall when Ovesny was chief and you couldn't even get him to show up to work let a lone run a department. If it wasn't for Darbey the police department wouldn't be the way it is now. Before it was all screwed up. And the residents who are blaming him are also the same residents who want the police department to sit outside there house and baby sit there neighbors because you think there running drugs outta there. So you get mad at Darbey when he says your crazy so you go to the sheriffs office and they too tell you your crazy. And they allow guys like that on the school board? And they say the police departments messed up ha

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9JTB(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

First off, who started this investigation? Please tell me that it wasn’t the police chief who had access to the safe. This investigation should have been handled by an outside agency from start to finish. Did everyone who had access to the safe have to take the polygraph test? Firemedic18173, it is everyone’s business if these individuals are working in jobs in the PUBLIC sector, didn’t anyone ever explain that when you work in the public sector it is the residents that you are accountable to. Both parties should be placed on leave in there other jobs pending the outcome of the investigation. Is MR Maccione still working as a firefighter with Vienna, I really don’t want him in my home until he is cleared from wrongdoing.

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10VTPD1701(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Why didnt all the CONstables have to take the polygraph? Who are the trustees trying to protect and why?

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11nosecraked(5 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

The very sad thing about all these comments is? Darby isn't even the official Chief! So he is taking all this crap for what? NOTHING! The Vienna Trustee's need to step up or get the "F" out! Darby and other” responsible” Officer's have time and time again went in and asked for money to better that police department. What do they get told? NO! Yes, put the blame where it belongs, on the two Officers that took the money! But to blame a lack of leadership on Darby? That's wrong. Put the lack of leadership blame where it belongs..... on the Trustee's! "Regrettably accept the resignation..." you Ma'am are an idiot!

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12doughdaddy1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

lets be honest here,the chief of police in vienna does not let officers do their jobs,he has stood in my kitchen and told me that they do not arrest people because they dont want to do the paperwork involved.this is not an officer at all.it is a shame when our township has become the laughing stock due to the blatant ignoring of crime in the township.i believe he should resign,if the money was not accessable it would not have been an issue.check out the 911 call he did to tell them he was at a residents house to not call him while he was on duty.and when he has allowed officers to leave an i.o.u for money is this actually theft?ask him what happened to 300.00 that was given to him from the christmas fund to be "earmarked" as such by his wife that just disappeared.ask the township how much money it costed them to correct the fiscal office which was missing funds when mrs.darby "misplaced" it.time to man up chiefy!!!

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13Oldfriend78(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

From what I heard, the four officers who had access to the safe had to take the polygraph..including Darbey. And the two who resigned failed it. Again, why shouldn't Darbey trust a few veteran officers with the combination to the safe?? The public sure trusts certain officers, why couldn't Darbey? Yet, it's his fault for letting these officers have access. These were grown men who took an oath as a police officer and no matter how nice people think they are, they should be held accountable for their actions!! You are all the same type of people who would blame the teacher when your own kid breaks a school rule!
And again.. you may think your PD is the laughing stock but it is also your neighborhood watch and other small groups who think they run the world!

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14doughdaddy1(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

did darby's wife take the polygraph?after all she had the combination also.there should have been no one with that combination.darby left the officers previously "borrow" money from that safe.now that he is in the hot seat for indiscretions he has these 2 take the fall.i hope that these 2 officers come forward on darby's misdoings also.i hope there is an investigation and he gets what he rightfully deserves..TERMINATION!!!!

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15valley18(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Nick Macchione is a known dirt bagg, he is also a firefighter/emt with Vienna fire dept , and works at JJC in warren .hes not only dishonest with being a public servant, but with his wife as well from what ive heard .

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16bornandraised(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

Seems like the little groups that think they run Vienna are at it again. Why were these officers allowed to resign instead of being terminated? Officer Ford admitted to "borrowing" the money -- aka taking it! Why was the public even allowed to comment at this meeting that was held for personel reasons? Just seems to be Heidi Brown's efforts to slam her fellow trustees and put her alliances with Phil Pegg. Wake up Vienna -- if you let these 2 individuals in there together it will cause nothing but problems!

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17lmccauley(1 comment)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

To all of you with the negative comments... Please remember before you crucify these men remember and read this article twice!!!! They were accused not proven of this crime!! They also took polygraph tests! If this was your SON, HUSBAND,NEPHEW, BROTHER or FRIEND would you be so quick to throw them under the bus???? And if the investigation shows that one or both of these men are NOT guilty of these accusations will that retraction be on the front page as well? We all know that will not happen! It will be a small article on the inside of the paper that only those looking for it will see! Think of their wives and children who will be affected if they are telling the truth!! Have an open mind! It's disappointing!

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18valley18(2 comments)posted 4 years, 9 months ago

I have every right to throw him under the bus he's married and lookin for sex on the side . He cant have his cake and eat it at the same time. The hammer must fall at some point and its coming down fast .

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19emt556(3 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

Valley18 please email me about the comment you made about Nick Macchione.

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20ViennaIsCorrupt(3 comments)posted 4 years, 3 months ago

FYI Ford stole $150, Maccione stole drugs that were locked up. They both need charged. Next is the good ol Chief he is supposed to be in charge of his dept, and was not. He needs charged with Derilection of Duty. But none of this matters to some of you people as long as Darbey sat in your trailor park to patrol the 15mph speed limit you loved him. Well That is another illegal move by Darbey, And I didnt know the township paid him to patrol private property. Since he does I would like him to start patroling my driveway, sometimes people go over 15mph in it. Anywho Richie, Hedi, and Phil Dropped the ball once again. Lets wise up in November VOTE THEM OUT!!!

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