CANTON — The police chief has suspended three officers without pay following an investigation into their association with former officer Jason K. Gaug.
Each officer was disciplined for unsatisfactory performance and deportment.
The discipline followed an Internal Affairs review of information gathered by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office during its investigation of Gaug, who pleaded guilty in August to felony steroid possession and misdemeanor obstructing justice and resigned from the Police Department.
Chief Jack Angelo suspended Officer Thomas Wasilewski for 10 days.
Officer Timothy Marks was ordered to serve a five-day suspension and detective Stephen Shaffer received a three-day suspension. Marks and Shaffer each forfeited one day of banked vacation or comp time to shorten their suspensions.
The suspensions started Monday. The officers signed letters in which they stipulate to the Internal Affairs review and agreed to the suspensions.
Bill Adams, Canton Police Patrolmen’s Association president, said neither the union nor the three officers would comment on the suspensions.
Wasilewski and Shaffer have been with the police department for more than 20 years. Marks was hired in 2007.
All three officers have received commendations during their careers and the Police Department honored Marks as its Officer of the Year in 2012.
Sheriff’s deputies began investigating Gaug while looking into the Feb. 3 overdose death of Teresa L. McMillen, 40, who had lived with Gaug until shortly before her death. Deputies didn’t link Gaug to the fatal overdose, but they found anabolic steroids in his home and learned that he didn’t arrest McMillen on a misdemeanor warrant despite checking her criminal history, including any outstanding warrants.
Exactly how Wasilewski, Marks and Shaffer broke police department policy through their association with Gaug isn’t clear in public records obtained from the city and Sheriff’s Office.
Angelo responded to a call seeking comment on the suspensions with a written statement.
“Through the investigation handled by the Stark County Sheriff’s Office it was found that these Officers engaged in conduct that did not meet the standards required by this department,” the statement said, in part. “None of these officers were charged with any criminal offenses and were disciplined only for unsatisfactory performance and deportment. ... The Canton Police Department does not take any infractions of our Rules and Regulations lightly and will continue to enforce them in a manner commensurate with the violation.”
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