By jeanne starmack
A police officer whose garage was used for suspected underage drinking and marijuana smoking remains on paid leave pending a disciplinary hearing, the police chief said.
Patrolman Larry Neely has been on leave since police broke up a party in the garage Feb. 8.
Neely is not facing criminal charges.
“The internal investigation is complete, and he will have a disciplinary hearing,” Chief Jeff Palmer said Tuesday. “It’s contractual.”
At the hearing, he’ll be advised of any internal charges against him, Palmer said.
He said that as per the city’s contract with the patrolmen’s union, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, the disciplinary hearing will take place within two weeks.
“There will be some form of discipline,” he said.
Palmer said that during the investigation, the department could neither prove nor disprove whether Neely knew about parties at his residence during which teenagers were purportedly drinking and smoking marijuana.
Neely was working at the time, Palmer said.
Palmer said the department interviewed 10 partygoers, but he is not ready to disclose whether any of them said that Neely knew about the parties.
Palmer said he will talk with the city prosecutor today about filing criminal charges against some of the people who were at the party.
He said the majority of juveniles who will be charged are first-time offenders and will be “treated accordingly.”