Mayor, chief need to get a grip

Jul 27, 2014


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. 



Lampela's name is on the letter of apology to Brad Ohlemacher, (after PIB police brutally attacked him on his own property) that states he is confident with more training and better communication his officers can do better. That was 2012.

During last Thursdays meeting Lampelea was asked if indeed the officers got that training that was promised in the letter. Lampela's response, "no, it wasn't necessary".

Obviously Lampela's promises mean nothing and these Thursday night Town Hall meetings are just smoke and mirrors last ditch effort to keep a job he was never qualified for in the first place.

yea right

I say put them all in irons. The whole lot. Bring in the sheriffs office or state boys. Clean it up


The sheriff and state boys are not any better as the prosecutor and law director will still call the shots. The entire county needs a federal investigation starting with the prosecutor and PIB's and PC's law director.


Make the chief a last chance employee. Give him clear concise goals to achieve within a set time period. If he complies and straightens thngs out, he keeps his job, if not, he gets fired and the next guy has the same conditions set on him.

The mayor would probably have to get behind it depedning how the viallage chartre is written. Council may be able to bring action also.

Erie County Resident

The whole political machine needs replaced and the so called police department needs to be eliminated completely for incompetence and failure to follow the ORC instead of their own rules.
Small minds and huge egos gone wild on PIB.
Won't go there or suggest anyone does as long as any of these idiots are around.


Arresting someone for not getting a final paycheck is a civil not criminal offense!!! Any peace officer and lawyer worth his salt knows this. A matter for the courts... not law inforcement....PERIOD!!

my oh my

Also suspicious the EMS manager is leaving ..Shall we stay tuned for more on that as well....?????Put in Bay = corruption........


Just speculating on the EMS situation that it might be related to an investigative report by WKYC TV Cleveland concerning abuse of Life Flights for non emergency transport.

An urgent care center could possibly be staffed on the Island for treatment of conditions that don't require transport off the Island but for which EMS staff are unqualified to handle. It would also serve as an exam center for sexual assault complaints but that would probably make a lot of people unhappy.

I'm surprised Magruder Hospital or some physicians' group hasn't recognized an opportunity to place a seasonal urgent care facility on the Island.


It is no secret on the island that the Mayor has sadly neglected her duties and continue to do so. Living in the township we do not receive an opportunity to vote "in the village" and are stuck with the way she "manages" the failed policed chief and his cronies. She has at this point become an ineffective leader, incapable of effecting change and stemming the corrupt PIB POLICE Department.

She is in over her head, and continues to ignore the problems. It's high time she accept this fact and move on. The time has passed where holding a "meeting" each week could ever possibly change the stench of a rotten to the core police chief and the unfortunate ones who serve under him and developed his failed methods of policing.


IMO, the problem is the legal advice or lack thereof, the Mayor and Police Chief are receiving from the Village Solicitor George Wilbur and County prosecutor Mulligan. As a township resident you need to complain to your trustees and the Sheriff to request an investigation into the PIB PD for dereliction of duty and or interference with civil rights and some other issues.

my oh my

Its funny that the EMS managers step daughter was married to the mayors son...Hmmm


I hear they brought in the Highway Patrol to assist on PIB over the weekend. Did they do golf cart check points?


The residents of Put-in-Bay TOWNSHIP may want to petition their township trustees to
cancel the contract with the Village for police protection and contract, like they did some years ago, with the Sheriff Department. The current Ottawa County Sheriff is very professional, honest, a straight shooter, and competent. He is not in anyway responsible for the O. C. Prosecutor's flaws and imperfections. Eventually, one of the National TV shows/networks (like ABC's 20/20 or CNN) is going to pick up on this story of corruption and incompetence and it will be like the water quality incident--tourism and the island businesses that all survive on it will wither for a while and they will have one or two very bad summers.


I agree with you that it would be a good idea to cancel the contract between the township and PIB PD. However, I think the Sheriff is required to provide service to the township in the absence of a local police department, so there should be no need for a contract with the Sheriff.

Also, the prosecutor's problems exceed "flaws and imperfections". The problem is one party rule and there is no way the Sheriff will buck the party as everybody is making money protecting the status quo


Funny ( or not no funny ) is that the mayor
Over there keeps turning a blind eye?? Looks like she may be part of the corruption


Like Judy Berry wasn't in Paul Jerris's back pocket coupled with partners mark matys and ed fitzgerald. Judy and Paul were scene out together numerous times. Didn't Mr ed bail out Jeris and matys a few years ago from the charge of witness tampering. Tied of all the crap spewed from the homophobes.


Are you asserting that the Mayor is in someone's pocket or being bribed? Or was that just an off topic drunken rant? Or maybe you always forget to capitalize and misspell words?


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


The past mayor maybe,this mayor no way, hence explaining the intense animosity shown by P-I-B Resort toward the PD. Would every one take notice how quick fedupislander blames my poor typing skills on alcohol. Pretty good from a person whose constituents make up a drunken party out of days of the week.


First of all goofy, I don't drink, and have not in over 11 years. I suggest perhaps before you spew your off topic garbage ad nauseam YOU review the tape that was posted by the SR, it's pretty clear and with audio. The case was already thrown out by the prosecutor so it's pretty clear this was another egregious act by an out of control PIB PB.

There are numerous individuals who have expressed complaints about the PIB PD, not just one business. From Middle Bass Residents, to township residents to a 68 year old retired superintendent of schools.

How ironic that in the last dozen news stories regarding the police corruption and Mayors ongoing ignorance being claimed you are the VERY FIRST PERSON to even attempt to defend her. Pretty questionable motive. Ya'll related?


I'll also defend the lady Mayor. It appears to me that people are not interested in attacking the real problem, i.e. the poor legal oversight of the PIB PD, but in wanting to place their own people into positions of power to control them.

Seems the Mayor could really use some sound advice from somebody without any significant financial stake in the Island or government attorneys who don't appear very honorable.


Babo....The Mayor is the sole overseer of the PIB PD...the bucks stops there. Council members have offered her help and guidance, she does not listen. The village council is so fed up with the poor legal advice from George Wilbur they are trying to hire their own attorney. I do agree with your statement regarding the need for someone to be in the position with no significant financial stake.


Well we agree in part. George Wilbur and Mark Mulligan are ultimately the problem. The Mayor is likely relying on legal advice from Wilbur and or Mulligan and that is why she has delayed conducting any investigation. The Council can fire Wilbur I believe as he is the solicitor not an elected position but one that serves at the pleasure of council.

The Mayor has the right to ask the Sheriff to conduct an investigation of the PD. Though given the close political ties in Ottawa County, I don't think the Sheriff would be free to truly conduct a valid investigation. Also,the Mayor and village council could hire its own outside firm to help the Mayor conduct a review of the PD and the solicitor as no one should expect her to be qualified to conduct an investigation of police and legal issues.


I have no problem with the P.D. Your list of people that do leaves a lot to be desired. Talking to your wife will reveal the fact that you can't please everybody, especially retired super. If one listened to his rhetoric you would picture a person confined to a wheel chair instead of an avid C-I-C Golfer who is also league secretary. Judging by the fact that P-I-B Resort is real close to Harriet House you can see were his allegiance lays.Were you talking about the tapes set up to "protect" them from police misconduct?


Yes, I too find it funny and ironic that a man who made his "fortune" by leveraging his robust and physical personality with his government job at PC Schools wherein he traded favors and played favorites with other school officials is whining when he is on the receiving end of what he perceives to be disparate treatment.


Wife? Really? She has been deceased for 7 years. Why would you feel the need to bring her into this? Again you miss the point. There are numerous people (even people who are not in business from Middle Bass)who are very vocal, council members as well. You can pretend it is not happening, but it does not change the facts. You can bet time will tell as lawsuits are filed, won, and an uninsurable PD will be disbanded.


And heck no am I related to any of the unholy trinity!!!


It is my understanding that the FBI and the U. S. Justice Department can investigate/prosecute civil rights violations that are of an egregious nature. Individual
officers can be prosecuted in Federal court (example: the Rodney King beating) and the Justice Department Office of Civil Rights can file civil actions against police departments that have a pattern and history of abuses of people's rights. I do not know if any of this yet would apply to the PIB PD but it is possible that they are getting
dangerously close to this being possible.


You are correct but it's hard to get them to act. There was an attempt to get them in Ottawa County/PIB years ago on far worse violations and there's more to this than civil rights violations but also the strong appearance of public corruption which makes it even more politically difficult..


Yes, there appear to be multiple factors at play here--cronyism, corruption, stupidity, and incompetence. It's hard to know which is the major causation of all that is going on. Clearly, the time has come for the citizens, council, trustees, and business owners (whether PIB voters or not) to move quickly to deal with these issues. I can pretty well predict this is heading for the national news fairly soon (I think the Life Flight issue already has). Probably the first things that need to happen is for the mayor and police chief to resign, and to get an experienced, educated, and professional police chief in place asap.