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Akron, Ohio

City of Akron Takes Action with Respect to Schismenosí Investigative File

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City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of stephanie york
Published: 05-07-2014

            Akron, Ohio (May 7, 2014) - Yesterday, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and City Council President Garry Moneypenny asked the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Stephen J. Dettlebach, to re-open its investigative file on Schismenos and review all of the recordings and documents made by Schismenos.  The request included that his office review all the recordings and documents maintained at the department as well as those found at Schismenos’ home during the execution of a search warrant by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (OBCI).

            In their letter to Dettlebach, the Mayor and Council President noted the fact that the vast majority of police officers in the City of Akron have been and are now honest, hard-working officers dedicated to serving the citizens of Akron.  They further stressed that on the occasions when officers have acted improperly or illegally, the Akron Police Department has acted to remove those officers.

            In this instance, former police officer Donald Schismenos placed massive amounts of recordings on his City of Akron computer.  It is unknown whether any of his co-workers or supervisors had any knowledge of the recordings.  Questions have been raised concerning whether he gave the recordings to prosecutors on cases as he was required to do.

            Immediately after learning of Schismenos’ improper activities, the City involved the FBI, OBCI, and the Summit County Prosecutor.    In fact, as early as July, 2011, Chief James Nice referred the matter for investigation to Todd Wickerham, who supervised the Akron office of the FBI at that time.  Chief Nice asked that the FBI investigate and refer any charges to the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio for prosecution of a police officer who had secretly videotaped his activities, including several incidents which may have revealed potential civil rights violations.

            The United States Attorney’s Office did not bring any charges against Schismenos at that time.  The City is unaware of the extent of the investigation.  The OBCI also investigated Schismenos’ actions and executed a search warrant, in which more recordings were found at the officer’s home.  OBCI conducted a lengthy investigation, which has since concluded.

            “When the City learned of Schismenos’ rogue actions, Chief Nice took immediate steps to involve the proper authorities to investigate the matter.  We remain committed to transparency in our police department, and we have asked the U.S. Attorney to re-open its investigative file on Schismenos and review all of the recordings and documents made by him and maintained on his work computer as well as those discovered at his home by OBCI,” noted Mayor Plusquellic.

          

For further information, contact:
stephanie york
communications director
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: [email protected]

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