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PIB police officer demoted

Register • Apr 25, 2015 at 5:45 AM

In an apparent rebuke of Put-in-Bay Mayor Margaret Scarpelli and police Chief Ric Lampela, Village Council on Wednesday refused again to promote a police sergeant and then voted instead to demote him. 

PIB police Sgt. Steve Korossy is the person Lampela said could "fix problems" in the police department when he asked Village Council last month to promote Korossy and give him a $50,000 annual salary.

But Korossy also is the police officer central to the controversial arrests of three employees last September at the Put-in-Bay Resort. The arrests were captured on hotel surveillance and appear to be improper. 

Scarpelli on Wednesday again asked Village Council to consider Korrossy's promotion. But instead of approving the promotion, Council voted  4-2 to demote Korrossy immediately by reducing his pay to $8 per hour and limiting him to no more than 20 hours per week.  

Resort officials have said Korossy improperly arrested two hotel employees in September after they refused to talk to him about why hotel management fired his girlfriend from the hotel staff, demanding they arrange for her to be immediately paid.

Korossy and Lampela have refused to respond to any questions about the arrests or about the allegation the woman who was fired by the hotel was Korossy's girlfriend and that potentially false information was inserted into a police report about the arrests. 

The employees were charged with obstruction. 

Korossy can be heard in the surveillance video stating the arrests were authorized by Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan. He also put that information in an arrest report.

But Mulligan has provided conflicting information about his role and he's refused to say what his office intends to do about the complaints. 

The charge against one employee was later dropped; the other case remains pending in Ottawa County Municipal Court. 

Mulligan has refused to say whether he intends to drop that case or prosecute it. Assistant Prosecutor Dave Boldt also has refused comment, and Scarpelli and Lampela have been uncooperative with court officials, skipping scheduled hearings they were ordered to attend. 

A third PIB Resort employee also was arrested the day before Korossy arrested the other employees at the front desk.

The hotel's general manager was charged with obstruction after she did not immediately provide a rental contract for a golf cart related to a parking citation investigation Korossy was conducting. 

That case also remains pending in Ottawa County Municipal Court.  

The employees told Korossy they did not want to talk to him about the termination. He can be seen on the surveillance video going behind the front desk and handcuffing each of the two employees in separate clips, and then reading them their rights, including the right to be silent. 

Hotel officials and other business owners and residents have complained that Lampela has waged a harassment campaign for years against them stemming from disagreements with him about how the police department is operated and the professional standards it maintains. 

Lampela, Scarpelli, Korossy, Mulligan, and part-time law director George Wilber all have refused to comment or address the harassment complaints or any other issue the business owners, employees and island residents have raised. 

Law director Wilber does not make public comment on public issues and generally is unavailable to respond to any inquiries from the public. The police department has refused to provide cell phone numbers or direct email addresses for Lampela and Korossy. The mayor plays dumb when confronted with questions but usually states she will investigate. Lampela and Korossy have met with residents and business owners but avoided direct questions about problems in the police department.

Lampela and Korossy also provided inaccurate information about alleged druggings that occurred earlier this summer during those forums. 

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