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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: News - Top Stories - Maj. John DiPietro Issues Statement Responding to Improper Conduct Accusations
Thursday, November 15 2012, 09:47 PM EST
Maj. John DiPietro Issues Statement Responding to Improper Conduct Accusations
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF MAJOR JOHN DIPIETRO

Yesterday, the Miami Township Board of Trustees held a disciplinary hearing regarding alleged acts of improper conduct committed by me. On the advice of my attorney, I asked that the hearing be held in executive session to allow all witnesses to testify openly and honestly without fear of media pressure. I also agreed not to discuss the specific testimony of any witness. We were unable to complete the hearing on Wednesday, and I agreed to continue the hearing until Monday, November 26, 2012, to allow me to present my case and witnesses in my favor.

However, I cannot stand by and allow my reputation to be impugned further. I have dedicated the last 26 years of my life to the service of Miami Township and its Police Department. I have been the Deputy Chief of Police of Miami Township for the past 12 years, and I have often served as acting Chief of Police during absences by Police Chief, John C. Krug. I have been wrongfully accused of improper conduct involving the decontamination of a criminal suspect who had been pepper sprayed. On the contrary, my conduct was intended to treat this person in a respectful and humane manner. Also, I immediately reported this incident to Chief Krug after it happened.

The report prepared by the Sheriff's Department indicates that the suspect: "...said her skin continued burning and she told the officers: hurry up and take me to juvenile, or do whatever you are all going to do." The suspect pleaded with me to be further decontaminated. None of the other officers present responded to her requests for assistance while in the holding cell. As the ranking officer on duty, I did what I was supposed to do and took her to the sally port to provide her with further relief.

The Sheriff's Department report states that there was a female officer (Nancy Strope) present who was on light duty. Miami Township policy regarding "medically restricted work" is clear that an employee on light duty is not to engage in work beyond the limitations prescribed. Further, it is clearly the policy of Miami Township not to put an employee on light duty in a position to be further injured.

The suspect involved in this case resisted arrest and had to be pepper sprayed. At one point, the suspect had slipped out of her handcuffs and again resisted, and one of the officers was forced to use his taser on her. Obviously this suspect had shown violent tendencies, and I made the prudent decision not to place Officer Strope alone with her, fearing the possibility of further injury.

Also, the mother of the suspect contacted me on September 21, 2012, and told me that she and her daughter were very appreciative of the way I treated the daughter. The suspect's mother also spoke with Police Chief Krug that same day and told him that she appreciated the way I treated her daughter.

I know members of the media would like to ask me many questions about what happened, and I strongly wish to defend myself at this point in the court of public opinion. However, I have agreed, along with the trustees and attorney for Miami Township, not to discuss the specific testimony of any witness. Suffice it to say that I intend to defend myself vigorously at the continuation of this hearing on November 26. At that time, I expect to be vindicated.



November 14 coverage:

Disciplinary Hearing for Miami Twp. Maj. John DiPietro Underway Maj. John DiPietro Issues Statement Responding to Improper Conduct Accusations

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