ALLIANCE, Ohio - An Alliance police officer returned to regular duty Saturday after being on administrative leave in connection with an investigation that also saw the city's police chief placed on leave.
Officer Christopher McCord and Chief Scott Griffith were placed on leave in March.
According to Alliance Mayor Alan Andreani, in February, the city was made aware of complaints against McCord from two other law enforcement jurisdictions: Canton and the Stark County Sheriff. It was discovered that the Sheriff's office was considering filing breaking and entering charges against McCord, who was found inside a home while investigating a crime in their jurisdiction.
At that point, a decision was made to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations against McCord. Attorney Greg Beck was chosen as the investigator. McCord was placed on leave on March 24th due to the allegations. Griffith was placed on leave because he was thought to be "in a position of having a perceived conflict of interest" during the investigation. Beck began his probe that day.
However, during the investigation, Beck was "informed that he could not talk to specific witnesses from outside APD, and that a “special prosecutor” was looking into matters concurrent with his investigation." Beck finished his interviews on April 11th. Griffith was reinstated on April 12th.
On July 5th, the city was told that the outside investigation had been conducted by BCI acting on behalf of the Attorney General on a referral from the Stark County Prosecutor’s office. The investigation determined that no charges would be filed against Officer McCord.
Beck was then allowed to resume his investigation and interview people he had previously been told he was not allowed to talk with. He finished this on July 13 and McCord returned to duty on July 15.
According to Andreani's release, "Attorney Beck is completing his final report. At this time the only comment on his findings is that Officer McCord had a legal basis for his entry into the home, and that the testimony provided by Officer McCord during the investigation has been corroborated by information gathered from outside and independent of APD."