Letter from Youngstown Chief of Police Rod J. Foley to former Detective Sergeant Robert Lodwick regarding his termination from the Youngstown Police Department.
By Joe Gorman
A city police detective sergeant who has been in the Mahoning County jail for more than a week has been fired.
The police department announced Monday that Robert Lodwick, a 13-year veteran, was fired Friday.
Lodwick, 40, has been in the jail since his arrest, after he was called off the road early June 7 for the charges of importuning and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, both felonies.
He waived a preliminary hearing last week and is in the jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on each charge. The county prosecutor’s office has asked for a special investigator to be appointed to his case because several cases that Lodwick handled while a member of the department’s Family Services Unit are pending.
Lodwick is accused of inappropriate behavior with a 14-year-old female juvenile whose case he investigated while he was a member of the FSU. Earlier this year, he was promoted to detective sergeant and assigned a slot as a patrol supervisor on midnight turn.
Chief Rod Foley told Lodwick in a letter that he was being fired for violating 13 standards of the department’s codes of conduct, including conduct unbecoming an officer, failure of good behavior, neglect of duty and abuse of position.
A hearing convened Thursday with Lodwick’s union representatives present. After the hearing, Foley decided it was time to fire Lodwick, the letter said.
“Your actions have brought shame to the Youngstown Police Department, undermined the very mission of this department and violated the trust that our citizens place in us,” Foley wrote. “It will be some time before the damage you have inflicted on this department can ever be repaired, and you have single-handedly just made the job of every member of the Youngstown Police Department more difficult in that regard.”
Investigators were first notified of a problem with Lodwick on May 31, when a worker for the county Children Services Board made a complaint with a sheriff’s detective about Lodwick. Sheriff Jerry Greene told Foley of the complaint, and the two decided to have the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation handle the case, along with the department’s Internal Affairs Division.
Not many details of the investigation have been released, but a BCI agent who handled the case said the day Lodwick was arrested that an undercover BCI agent chatted with Lodwick online, and after the chat he was arrested.
The letter to him also said that he made “inappropriate sexually oriented comments” toward the juvenile.