I-Team: Police Chief Indicted

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MORELAND HILLS, Ohio -- The Fox 8 I-Team has learned that Moreland Hills Police Chief Thomas Flauto has been indicted and is expected to be in court soon to face a charge of improperly using a state computer.

Flauto is expected to be arraigned in Madison County on the charge on March 1.  Flauto was not at the police station Thursday morning to discuss the matter.

“He has been in law enforcement for over 40 years, and has an absolutely perfect upstanding career for 40 plus years,” said Atty. Dominic Vitantonio, who represents Flauto.

When asked if he thought his client did anything wrong, Vitantonio responded, “I’m positive he didn’t do anything wrong, absolutely, 100 percent not guilty.”

Federal authorities sent a subpoena to Moreland Hills in 2008 seeking public records related to the chief. Federal authorities wanted information related to an Ohio license plate.  A similar subpoena was sent this fall from state officials.

Sources say a person close to former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora allegedly called the chief and asked him to run a license plate.  Doing so required the chief to use state equipment.  The I-Team is not releasing the name of that person because they have not been charged.

Dimora was convicted last year of several charges including bribery and racketeering.  He is now serving a 28-year sentence.

The chief is still working. Village officials say they will soon hold a disciplinary hearing to determine if he should face any type of internal charges.

Village officials also want to take an in depth look at the police department.

“We want to do a complete assessment of the police station just to make sure all of our officers are comfortable going forward with the leadership they have,” said Mayor Susan Renda.

The mayor also stressed she believes the police department is continuing to provide quality service to the residents.

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