The Cover-Up

And, now the local media is helping the mayor’s cover-up.

Was Reynoldsburg Police Chief Suciu the only senior official with knowledge of the Downing-mistress incident?  What and when did Chief O’Neill know?  Why did one of the lieutenants skip town?  Why did the mayor lie about when he knew?  When did the mayor speak with the disgraced-chief… and come up with official “talking points”?  Who was silenced after being promoted with large pay increases?  Now that we know Sergeant Mauger had time to warn other officers, why isn’t t he charged with dereliction of duty?  Who did the mayor’s special investigator conveniently forget to interview?

Read on for more of the answers:

December 28, 2011 (directly after the Downing-mistress incident):

  • before returning to the station, Sergeant Shane Mauger “locked” Downing’s statement so that only the lieutenants could see it (Mauger wanted Downing to have some “privacy” after they put fellow officers in danger)
  • Mauger issued only a field interview report
  • @ 6:45 a.m., Mauger verbally briefed Lieutenant O’Neill on the facts of the case
  • O’Neill called off-duty Chief Suciu at his home in Zanesville
  • Suciu met with O’Neill and Suciu later states to the mayor’s investigator that, “… so we made the decision together that the incident was not included in the daily report.”  (NOTE: the “daily report” is sent to the mayor noting ordinary and extraordinary events)
  • Suciu also states, “… this [the daily report] is one of those things myself, Lt. McKinley and Lt. O’Neill talked about…”

December 30, 2011:

  • O’Neill and Mauger gave Downing permission to delete his mistress’ text messages (Downing was, supposedly, never questioned about his relationship with his mistress or how he had so much information to give to his front line supervisor)

January 2, 2012:

  • Detective William “Bill” Geng replied to an email from Sergeant Cindy McComb stating, “I am well aware who this female is and how we received this information.”

January 3, 2012:

  • Clerk of Courts Michael Kozanecki overheard Assistant Clerk of Courts Leslie Clark and Deputy Clerk of Courts Pam Menear gossiping about the Downing-mistress incident
  • Kozanecki immediately alerts Mayor McCloud and insists he act (McCloud later lies to City Council, reporters and Reynoldsburg citizens saying, “I didn’t find out about this for nearly three weeks.”)
  • Kozanecki later states to Special Investigator Sturtz that, “I think he [McCloud] said he would talk to the Chief that day…”
  • McCloud’s special investigator never asked what McCloud said to Suciu on this date
  • Kozanecki also states that McCloud asks, “Why is this an issue?  It is a personal domestic outside of work issue…”
  • This is the first documented use of the “personal-issue” talking-points (Suciu uses it on February 7, 2012 during a secret meeting with the Pickerington Police Chief)

February 6, 2012:

  • Channel 10 investigative reporter, Paul Akers, calls Suciu for an impromptu interview

February 7, 2012:

  • Suciu met with Pickerington Police Chief Michael Taylor; with or without McCloud’s knowledge
  • Suciu did not request the return of the handgun
  • Suciu asked Chief Taylor for advice on how to get the Channel 10 investigative reporter “off his ass”
  • Suciu repeated Mayor McCloud’s talking-points when he made the comment that, “His officer didn’t do anything wrong.  That there is no law against having a girlfriend!”
  • Chief Taylor requested that the mayor’s special investigator look into the time span between Sergeant Mauger talking to On-Star and arriving on the scene, asking, “Why didn’t Reynoldsburg Dispatch tell us about the vehicles, the woman, what was going on?” (Investigator Sturtz never follows through with Chief Taylor’s request)
  • Chief Taylor angrily stated, “No notification whatsoever – that really ticks me off, our guy was placed in a bad, bad position.”
  • Chief Taylor exclaimed that if, “they [the Reynoldsburg police] got to her [the mistress] first, nothing would have been done.  Someone would have covered for Downing!!”
  • Shelley Taylor – Reynoldsburg’s Building Department secretary & ex-wife of Pickerington Chief Taylor – accuses the chiefs of covering for one another. (On a side note, Shelley Taylor also accuses her ex-husband of stalking her.)

February 9, 2012:

  • after Mayor McCloud learned about the Channel 10 investigation, he placed Chief Suciu on administrative leave, but said the decision should not be viewed as a disciplinary action

February 13, 2012:

  • Mayor McCloud is forced to open an Administrative Investigation, and uses his personal special investigator, David D. Sturtz
  • The investigator met with Mayor Brad McCloud and Lieutenant Scott McKinley
  • McCloud named McKinley as Acting Police Chief

February 27, 2012:

  • McKinley was advised that Pickerington was not pleased with Reynoldsburg’s actions.  “The fence needs mending!”

March 30, 2012:

  • the mayor’s Special Investigator, Sturtz, issues his Executive Summary
  • Sturtz never questions Mayor Bradley McCloud, Law Director Jed Hood or Lieutenant Scott McKinley
  • Lieutenant O’Neill is never asked about his meetings with Chief Suciu and Lieutenant McKinley
  • Sergeant Mauger is never held accountable for not alerting other law enforcement agencies of the known handgun in the mistress’ possession

April 13, 2012:

  • Chief Suciu alerted the media that he was eligible for retirement and decided to take it on June 1, 2012

April 16, 2012:

  • Mayor McCloud said he hadn’t heard about Suciu’s plans to retire, and stated, “I’ve learned about this through the news reports.”

June 1, 2012:

  • Mayor McCloud allowed Chief Suciu to retire with full benefits and without any consequences for his actions

July 6, 2012:

  • McCloud issued a written reprimand and ordered officer Daniel Downing to serve a suspension of three consecutive days without pay
  • McCloud and O’Neill ignored the special investigator’s recommendation that officer Downing undergo further psychiatric evaluation, receive professional counseling for his infidelities and attend an ethics program
  • McCloud and O’Neill ignored the special investigator’s recommendation for additional follow-up of Downing’s racially-derogatory comments made about President Obama
  • McCloud and O’Neill ignored the other extramarital affairs occurring in the police department

McCloud promoted a now-silent Michael Kozanecki to the newly-created position of Safety Director – with a $20,000 raise – shortly after the Sturtz interview and shortly after Kozanecki’s wife donated to the McCloud mayoral campaign.  Leslie Clark was promoted to Clerk of Courts.  McCloud snubbed the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and summarily dismissed all the candidates for police chief – installing a complicitous Lieutenant O’Neill.  The previous Acting-Chief, Lieutenant McKinley, refused to “cooperate” and opted to resign and join the Coast Guard.

July 24, 2012:


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