Exclusive: Woodmere officers under investigation

6:51 PM, Mar 21, 2011   |    comments
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WOODMERE -- A police lieutenant has been fired and three other officers in Woodmere Village have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of a county investigation.

The county prosecutor's office had no comment when questioned about allegations of police misconduct being investigated in Woodmere, which is the gateway to the Chagrin Valley.

About 200,000 people dine, shop and conduct business in the busy but small community.

The allegations under investigation involve police overtime abuse and misssing property in the police evidence locker.

"There's a possibility some officers were punching other officers in.  We don't know where they were.  They weren't on the village premises when they clocked in and said they were working," Police Chief Terence Calloway said.

Calloway and Mayor Charles Smith, a former major league pitcher, have cut overtime dramatically in the short time they've been in office. 

The police department was averaging about $61,000 a year in overtime pay from 2007 to 2009, but last year it was reduced to only $7,300. 

Mayor Smith refused to comment about whether some officers abused overtime.  

Chief Calloway said some officers may have punched in former Lt. Anthony Jordan at least 15 times.  The Mayor fired Jordan in December of last year.  Jordan could not be reached for comment.

Calloway says cash and other property turned up missing from the police property room. These are items that police confiscate from criminal suspects and keep in safe storage pending the outcome of court cases.  

He said too many officers had access to the locker, but now only he and one other officer have keys.  


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