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Mayor, chief need to get a grip

Register • Jul 29, 2014 at 5:46 AM

Put-in-Bay police Chief Ric Lampela needs to step back, and then step up.

Island Mayor Margaret Scarpelli needs to do the same, and quit playing dumb to serious allegations of wrongdoing in the police department.

The owners of the Put-in-Bay Resort have presented credible information to the community — video and audio surveillance of PIB police officers making strange arrests at the front desk of the hotel — that requires a response.

The officer Lampela wants to make his top lieutenant — Steven Korossy — arrested three hotel employees after they refused to talk with him about the termination of another resort employee. There does not appear to be a valid reason for police involvement, and Lampela has refused to explain why there was an investigation at the hotel.

Scarpelli told the resort owners 10 months ago she would investigate but she never contacted them again, or any of the hotel staff about the arrests. She also never agreed to watch the video, they said.

Lampela's contention at a public meeting last week he could not comment on the arrests due to the pending court cases is a bogus excuse and a dodge of his responsibilities as police chief. Lampela and Scarpelli both have made it clear: They plan to continue denying the obvious problems, dismissing concerns by ignoring or minimizing them.

That do-nothing choice will hurt Put-in-Bay businesses and commerce in short order, and in the long run, as a reputation of lawlessness grows and its police department continues its arrogant disregard for common sense, and the law.

Village Council should block Lampela's request that Korossy be promoted until a full explanation of the arrests is provided, and an improvement action plan for the police department is presented and approved. 

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