Campbell police sergeant resigns amid criminal investigation


By Sarah Lehr

slehr@vindy.com

CAMPBELL

Campbell Police Sgt. David Taybus has resigned amid a criminal investigation related to his handling of evidence.

Mayor Nick Phillips placed Taybus on paid administrative leave Dec. 29, pending an internal investigation.

That same day, Taybus informed the city he would retire effective immediately.

His resignation marks the latest shake-up for the Campbell Police Department, which lost its top cop in November when Mayor Nick Phillips fired then-Chief Drew Rauzan for purported sexual misconduct in the police gym.

Rauzan denies the allegations and is appealing his termination through the city’s civil service commission.

Phillips, however, has hired Dennis Puskarcik as the city’s new chief. Puskarcik was sworn-in Friday.

Lt. Kevin Sferra, who was acting police chief at the time, and Sgt. Charles Butch carried out the internal investigation of Taybus.

Both Law Director Brian Macala and Puskarcik declined to release the report from the police department’s internal investigation of Taybus, citing an ongoing legal matter.

Macala said it is policy for the police department to first conduct such an inquiry internally before calling upon an outside agency.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said the police department contacted his office last week about the investigation of Taybus. Gains said his office referred the matter to an independent law enforcement agency for further inquiry.

A spokeswoman confirmed the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation received a request from the county prosecutor Tuesday to investigate a Campbell police officer.

Macala, who is also the city’s prosecutor, said he did not believe potentially tainted evidence would affect “any current cases” being prosecuted in the city.

Phillips declined to give specifics on the nature of the allegations against Taybus. The mayor referred all questions to Sferra and Puskarcik, both of whom declined to answer questions.

No charges had been filed against Taybus. His attorney, Paul Conn, also declined to comment.

At one time, Taybus served as the city’s interim police chief before Rauzan’s appointment in 2013.

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