Warren cop fired after incidents with alcohol abuse
By Ed Runyan
Jeff Miller, the Warren police patrolman who spent five days in the Mahoning County jail last month for violating terms of his probation, was fired Wednesday.
Miller, 48, a 17-year veteran of the department, has been arrested three times since Oct. 17, 2010, and has repeatedly missed work because of his problems with alcohol abuse, according to a memo from Warren Police Chief Tim Bowers dated Wednesday.
Miller was arrested in Boardman on Nov. 15 for failure to appear in Mahoning County Area Court in Boardman on a probation violation, the memo says.
Miller remained in the Mahoning County jail the next five days, including four days when he was assigned to road-patrol duties with the Warren Police Department.
Miller has been off on unpaid administrative leave since the arrest.
The probation violation stemmed from an auto accident Sept. 22, 2011, in which Miller was charged with operating a motor vehicle impaired after driving through a red light and colliding with a car at the intersection of U.S. Route 224 and Tiffany Boulevard in Boardman.
Miller proceeded through the intersection against a red light, while the other driver had a green light.
Miller failed a field sobriety test and refused to take a breath test. He later was convicted of the reduced charge of reckless operation and was placed on probation that required him to attend a 28-day Glenbeigh alcohol-treatment program.
Miller violated terms of his probation four times since then, Bowers said.
After the accident, Miller told the driver of the other car he was going to “go get a drink” and walked away from the scene, according to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Bowers’ memo says Miller had told the chief during a predisciplinary hearing late last month that he had gone to a convenience store after the accident, bought beer and consumed it while walking back to the accident scene.
Miller “later admitted that this was untrue and you were untruthful to the investigating officer,” the memo says.
Miller also didn’t come to work from Sept. 24, 2011, through Sept. 27, 2011 — just after the accident — and didn’t call off Sept. 26, 2011. Miller was absent without leave on several of those dates, the memo says.
Bowers found Miller to have violated departmental policies regarding the improper days off, but he waited until Miller’s court hearings had been completed before acting on the days off and accident, Bowers said.
Miller also was arrested by the Weathersfield Township Police Department on Oct. 10, 2010, and charged with domestic violence, the memo says. The charge was later dropped.
Failing to meet the obligations of his probation “makes it clear that you have no respect for your oath of office or the laws you swore to uphold,” the memo says.
“The city of Warren and the Warren Police Department exhausted their collective efforts to bring you into compliance with policy, procedures and the law,” the memo says.