Top sheriff’s official and sergeant probed in Sciortino traffic stop
By Peter H. Milliken
An outside agency will investigate the conduct of a Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office sergeant who recently cited Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino on a charge of failing to drive within marked lanes.
In addition, the conduct of a member of MCSO’s top command staff also is being investigated, said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.
“I reached outside of my agency so there’d be no bias,” Greene said.
Greene contacted the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association, which assigned the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the matter.
Sgt. James Touville stopped Sciortino, 42, of Woodgate Street, Austintown, at 11:35 p.m. Sunday on U.S. Route 224 east of Raccoon Road in Canfield Township, according to the traffic- ticket Sgt. Touville wrote.
Sciortino, who was driving a black 2011 Buick Regal when stopped, could not be reached to comment on the traffic stop.
Greene declined to name the member of his command staff being investigated or to explain the role the top commander may have played in the matter. Greene said he wants an outside probe of “any misconduct that may have occurred” within his staff.
Greene said he did not know if Sciortino was given a field sobriety or Breathalyzer test, but he said Touville should have administered the field sobriety test to Sciortino if the sergeant had probable cause to believe Sciortino had been drinking.
The sheriff said he does not believe there is any dash-cam video or audio of the stop.
The traffic ticket says traffic was light; there was no accident associated with the traffic stop; the pavement was dry; and there were no adverse weather conditions when Touville made the stop.
Sciortino is scheduled to be arraigned for his marked-lane charge at 5 p.m. Tuesday before Judge Scott D. Hunter in Canfield Court.
A check of Mahoning County Clerk of Courts records shows no drunken-driving charges ever having been filed against Sciortino.