Report awaited on decision about chief of police
The city paid $4,000 for the outside legal review of the police department.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- At least one business owner and a minority organization are awaiting action, but the city administration says more time is needed to determine if the police chief should be disciplined.
It's been a month since a videotape featuring Police Chief John Mandopoulos and Patrol Officer Manny Nites was shown to the public.
The tape, recorded May 24 in the parking lot of Soul 77, shows the two men making jokes and giving close-up views of their eyeballs, and Nites can also be heard calling the cameraman a snitch.
"I'd like something to happen because this took place at my business, and I most definitely think it is harassment," said LaShawn Ziegler, owner of Soul 77, a black nightclub on Youngstown-Warren Road.
"I want this to get resolved and to get some justice."
Mayor Hank Angelo declined to discuss the matter except to say it is under review.
"I know they have to do their homework, but we are really hoping for results soon," said Tom Conley, president of the Warren-Trumbull Urban League and a member of the Warren Minority Coalition.
"The city administration needs to come to a decision because the community is waiting."
Last month, the coalition asked the administration to change the leadership of the police department.
Conley says the group's feelings haven't changed.
What's been done
The administration has sought outside legal services to review the police department.
The city auditor's office confirmed that a $4,000 check was sent to Atty. Pete Nevada, who practices law in Dublin, Ohio.
The purchase order states the money is for legal services and assisting with personnel matters in the police department, according to Auditor David Griffing.
Law Director Greg Hicks said he was not aware an outside attorney had been hired to review the situation.
"No one discussed this with me but if the mayor wants outside legal counsel, he can do it," Hicks said.
Conley and Ziegler think the video shows police abusing their powers.
A friend of Ziegler's taped Mandopoulos and Nites, who put their faces up to the camera.
On it, Mandopoulos also asked the cameraman if in high school he had been voted "the nerd most likely to succeed."
The chief has said he and Nites were just joking.