Former Campbell police chief Drew Rauzan adds criminal defense work to law practice
By Ed Runyan
Former Campbell Police Chief Andrew “Drew” Rauzan has added criminal-defense work to his legal career, now working to defend people rather than accuse them of wrongdoing.
Rauzan, who has had a law license since 2013, appeared in Warren Municipal Court last week for an arraignment of a client from Lowellville charged with theft.
Afterward, Rauzan told The Vindicator that since he became a lawyer in 2013, he has handled noncriminal cases as a lawyer in Mahoning County, especially in probate court, but was prohibited from representing clients in criminal cases because of his former law-enforcement career.
Rauzan retired as Campbell police chief in January in exchange for the city’s rescinding his termination.
In November, Campell Mayor Nick Phillips said the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation found evidence of sexual misconduct on Rauzan’s part, but BCI spokesperson Jill Del Greco in August said BCI agents fully investigated sexual harassment allegations against Rauzan and did not find sufficient evidence for criminal prosecution.
Rauzan’s attorney, Damian Billak, said in January that Rauzan did not admit wrongdoing through his resignation and continues to deny the sexual-assault allegations. Rauzan also has indicated his intention to file legal action over the matter.
Rauzan was sworn in as Campbell police chief in November 2013 after joining the department in 1998. He graduated from Cleveland State University College of Law in 2010. He also has a master’s degree in criminal-justice administration from Youngstown State University.
This week’s case was Rauzan’s first in Trumbull County. He has a solo practice and works out of an office on Fifth Street in Struthers. Before that, he conducted his law practice out of his home, he said. He has about 100 clients.
“It’s always been my dream to be a practicing attorney, Rauzan said. “I am trying to fight for my clients as I did [for victims] in law enforcement,” he said.
On Aug. 28, he pleaded guilty in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to four misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of property and agreed to never again work as a police officer. Rauzan was required to self-report his convictions to the Mahoning County Bar Association.
Judge Lou D’Apolito sentenced Rauzan to one year’s probation and ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine for improperly using the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway database four times between May 2013 and July 2015. OHLEG is a system that allows law-enforcement agencies to share data.
Del Greco said using OHLEG improperly is a criminal offense, but an investigation determined that Rauzan did not use the OHLEG information for additional criminal purposes.
The Ohio Supreme Court website shows no pending disciplinary matters relating to Rauzan’s law license.
Atty. David “Chip” Comstock, counsel for the Mahoning County Bar Association’s Grievance Committee, said investigations into lawyer disciplinary matters are private unless they result in a certified complaint being filed by the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct.
It usually takes about six months for a complaint to get to that stage, if it isn’t dismissed before then, Comstock said.
Before a complaint reaches the Board of Professional Conduct, it is investigated by a local bar association or the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel.