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Youngstown Sgt. Touville accepts 3-day suspension over Sciortino stop


Published: Thu, July 18, 2013 @ 12:10 a.m.

youngstown

Settlement stems from

handling of Sciortino

aborted OVI arrest

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Sgt. James Touville of the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to accept a three-day, unpaid suspension concerning his conduct when he arrested and “unarrested” county Auditor Michael V. Sciortino on a potential drunken-driving charge May 26 in Canfield Township.

Despite Sciortino’s having failed a field-sobriety test, Touville released Sciortino to then-Commander Thomas J. Assion, who drove the auditor home in the auditor’s car from the traffic stop on U.S. Route 224 near Raccoon Road.

Assion had asked Touville if he would forgo the drunken-driving arrest, and Touville agreed to do so. Assion then asked Touville to cite Sciortino for failing to drive within marked lanes.

Sciortino, 42, of Austintown, paid a $50 fine and $80 in court costs on the marked-lanes charge.

Sheriff Jerry Greene demoted Assion to his previous rank of sergeant because of the Sciortino incident.

The sheriff said Touville should have insisted on taking the auditor to the Canfield police station for a Breathalyzer test.

Touville agreed to the suspension rather than go through a pre-disciplinary hearing, which had been scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The written disciplinary settlement agreement says Touville may vacate the pact and proceed with a pre- disciplinary hearing if the Ohio Attorney General’s Office or any other law- enforcement agency charges him with a crime in connection with the Sciortino traffic stop.

The AG’s special-prosecutions unit is investigating the matter at the request of county Prosecutor Paul J. Gains.

One clue that a settlement was in the works was the 10:15 a.m. departure from the county jail of Karen U’Halie, county human-resources director, who was to have been the hearing officer, but said only that she was leaving because she was no longer needed in the hearing- officer role.

About an hour after her departure, Maj. William Cappabianca announced the terms of the agreement.

In the settlement, Touville admitted violating Rule 37B of the sheriff’s office’s general orders, which states: “All employees shall perform their duties in a manner that will maintain the highest standards of efficiency in carrying out the objectives and purpose of MCSO. Failure to comply with this rule constitutes unsatisfactory performance.”

Signing the agreement was Cappabianca, representing the sheriff; Touville; and Charles Wilson, Fraternal Order of Police Ohio Labor Council senior staff representative.

Touville is a member of the FOP Lodge 141 bargaining unit.

Touville, who is a midnight-turn patrol supervisor, will make up for the lost pay through a reduction in his vacation time or in the accumulated time he has banked in lieu of overtime, Cappabianca said.

“Sgt. Touville accepted his responsibility for the actions on the night of May 26,” allowing the sheriff’s office to close its internal investigation of the incident, Cappabianca said.

“As a department, we’re looking forward to moving on beyond this incident,” the major added.

“Sgt. Touville has a long history and a good career with the department, and, after reviewing everything, he had decided that this was the best option at this time and wants to move forward with his duties and career here,” Wilson said after the agreement was signed.

Touville joined the sheriff’s office in October 2000.

“He wanted to get this behind him. He’s got a great career that’s pretty much unblemished with this department, and this is a stressful situation for him,” Wilson added.


Comments

1biggee(43 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Earlier article said how much the city was paying as severance to a policeman who was fired. So they are taking 24 hour of A.T. Time as punishment? I wonder how long before T. j gets commander position back. Just sayen...

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2islandgrump(59 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

If Deputies were given a dime for each time Chief Deputy Frank Carbon got involved. All the deputies would be wealthy. Its a political way of life. It will NEVER stop, it will just be hidden better next time. This Sgt.was made a scape goat with the rest. He was probably word about his job and retribution from the top if he didn't play along. Very sad. Bottom line is, the SUPERVISOR is responsible. Not the Sgt.

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31970mach1(1005 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

“As a department, we’re looking forward to moving on beyond this incident,” the major added.

LOL!

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4121465(6 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

The two commanders should be out of jobs immediately. The deputy did his job until his commander showed up. And I'm sure that the duputy clearly understood the message at the scene, the Sheriff, being the snake that he is, has crawled, back into the snake hole. He has had his time with the feed bag strapped on. Soon will come the time when the next cast of characters will strap on the same feed bag. Nothing changes, nothing.

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5jailbirds93(16 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Sciortino needs to resign immediately. When others are taking the fall because of his actions (being drunk) he needs to man up and show he has a shred of integrity left and resign. After he resigns he needs to seek help for his drinking problem.

The US Attorney ought to be ashamed that he hasn't acted and knows about the corruption, fixed elections and judges that have no business sitting on the bench in Mahoning County.

We the people are suffering being governed by these losers.

Please DO SOMETHING!

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61970mach1(1005 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

Touville seems like he tried to do the right thing.

He notified his supervisors, who all then took over from there. It is govt. When your boss asks or says to do something you are stuck.

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7YtownParent(350 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

I feel no sympathy for Touville. Doing what your supervisor tells you, when you know it's against the law and/or policies is no excuse. In the private sector he'd be fired because the choice was ultimately his.

He became an active conspirator the moment he choose to notify his supervisors instead of taking Sciortino in for a breathalyzer. He would have been completely in the right to take Sciortino over to the barracks for testing and then notify his supervisors, and his butt would have been officially covered too.

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8richardlewis973(141 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

gdog4766 i guarantee you are a keyboard warrior. you can not even use your real name. GDOG? real tough guy talking about someones family from behind a computer screen. why dont you grow a pair and say some of this crap to assions face. he is not a hard fellow to find

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9YtownParent(350 comments)posted 1 year, 5 months ago

gdog4766 has the right take. If he told Assion how asinine his behavior is to his face you better belive Assion would make an arrest then. Best bet is to just whip out those cell phones, start recording the law enforcement shenanigans and posting em on YouTube. (Yes, it is completely legal to video cops on duty doing/not doing their job.)

He didn't insult his family, but I doubt any of these deputies, or Det Sgt. Lodwick, gave a single thought about how their behavior would affect their families.

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