A part-time instructor at Kent State is teaching courses in police work — even after pleading guilty to felony charges.
Dan Fitzpatrick, 57, of Ravenna, entered pleas last month in Portage County Common Pleas Court to possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; carrying a concealed weapon, a loaded Glock, 9 mm handgun, a fourth-degree felony; and operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a first-degree misdemeanor.
“Dan Fitzpatrick is continuing to teach two courses this semester,” KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield said this week. “Beyond that, we are not going to comment on the personal lives of our employees.”
The charges stemmed from a Dec. 25, 2011, stop by the State Highway Patrol in Portage County.
Fitzpatrick joined KSU’s police department in 1978 and retired in 2008 as assistant chief. He later served as a security consultant to the university’s branch campuses until 2011.
He has taught part time since at least 2011, Mansfield said.
Currently, he teaches “Investigative Process” and “Police Role” and is paid a total of $5,300 for both courses, Mansfield said.
The university has a policy governing employee behavior on the job and in the course of their duties, but Fitzpatrick was arrested for incidents off the job, so the policy does not apply to him, Mansfield said.
“He has acknowledged his mistakes in open court and accepted an agreement to attend treatment and monitoring under the court’s supervision,” Mansfield said in an email. “While the university does not condone this behavior, we accept the court’s recommendation of treatment in lieu of conviction.”
After completing a one-year drug-treatment program, Fitzpatrick can ask for his felony convictions to be dismissed.
Mansfield said Fitzpatrick’s performance as an instructor “has not been affected by these activities, and his student evaluations remain good.”
Neither Fitzpatrick nor his attorney, Tim Hart of Kent, returned calls requesting comment.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.