Disorderly charge wasn't first for city cop

SANDUSKY A persistent disorderly conduct charge at Put-in-Bay is not the first for Sandusky police Lt. Melvin D. Burns Jr.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



A persistent disorderly conduct charge at Put-in-Bay is not the first for Sandusky police Lt. Melvin D. Burns Jr.

Burns, 45, was charged previously for disorderly conduct in 1993 by deputies at the Erie County Sheriff's office, according to Capt. Paul Sigsworth.

In October 1993, deputies responded to the Huron Eagles Club for an altercation involving Burns. Burns pleaded no contest to the minor misdemeanor and paid a $90 fine, including court costs, according to Julie Bollenbacher, clerk of courts at Huron Municipal Court.

Meanwhile, for his most recent charges, Burns has been placed on administrative leave with pay, said Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse.

Burns will be on leave until there is a disposition on the charges and a completion of an internal investigation being conducted by an outside police department, Nuesse said.

A criminal trespassing charge was also filed against Burns on June 30 when he argued with Put-in-Bay police and flashed his police badge when a man described as his son tried to gain access to a bar without a valid ID, according to the police report.

Put-in-Bay police said they instructed Burns and several others to leave the property. According to the report, Burns told officers, "Do you know who I am? You can't take me. Let me see you take me."

Burns was arrested after he repeatedly pushed a police officer who told him to stop, the report said, adding that Burns said, "What are you gonna do about it? I am a lieutenant. You're a nobody sergeant."

Put-in-Bay police Chief R. Lampela informed the Sandusky Police Department about the incident.

Burns was promoted last month from sergeant to lieutenant and is supervisor of the night shift patrol. Under that shift Burns is in charge of about 13 officers, Nuesse said.

"Other supervisors are taking care of that shift," she said. "It's a protection to the officers and the department to have them not work while that's being looked into."

The administrative leave went into effect Thursday and is part of contractual and department policy, Nuesse said. There are no recent conduct issues in Burns' personnel file, according to Nuesse, who has worked with him since she came to the department last year.

"He has excellent personnel performances at work," she said, adding that his work evaluations have been above average.

Burns has been employed at Sandusky Police Department since 1988. According to records in his personnel file, Burns has had other reprimands for past incidents. There is no documentation of reprimand, however, regarding the 1993 disorderly conduct charge.

"I was very surprised by it," Nuesse said of hearing of his charges. "His shift is one of the higher performing shifts."

An arraignment for Burns is set for July 10 in Port Clinton Municipal Court.