Three Canton police officers suspended following investigation of former officer

CANTON, Ohio -- Three Canton police officers are on unpaid administrative leave following the investigation of another former officer who pleaded guilty to a drug possession charge last month.

In a press release, Police Chief Jack Angelo said he suspended officer Thomas Wasilewski for ten days; officer Timothy Marks was suspended for five days; and detective Stephen Shaffer received a three-day suspension.

Documents provided to FOX 8 News on Tuesday show the discipline was because of their association with former officer Jason Gaug.

Gaug resigned from the department after pleading guilty to a felony steroid possession charge in early September and was sentenced to spend 30 days in the Stark County Jail.
He was charged as a result of an investigation conducted by the Stark County Sheriff's Office.

Documents signed by all three officers accepting the discipline show the suspensions were to begin on October 8.

Chief Angelo would not go on camera on Tuesday to answer questions about the suspensions.

A departmental complaint form filed by Chief Angelo said only that the "officers showed unsatisfactory performance in their interaction with former officer J. Gaug."

Exactly what they did was not detailed.

Separate documents that were presented to the officers following an internal investigation show them internally charged with 'Unsatisfactory performance' and 'Deportment,' referring to their behavior as officers.

In his press release, Angelo said the three officers were not facing criminal charges.
FOX 8 News made public records requests to the Stark County Sheriff's Office on Monday for access to documents related to the Gaug investigation as well as personnel records of all three of the officers.

Sheriff's office records provided to FOX 8 News show during the investigation of an overdose in March, investigators found text messages on Gaug's phone regarding drug activity.

Investigators also found messages that Gaug had met the overdose victim through Backpage and had set up a "date" with her for prostitution.

Their report says, "She eludes to the fact that she uses drugs and it is very apparent through these messages that she was involved in prostitution by the conversations that they had with one another. She also indicated that she wanted pills from Jason Gaug on several occasions, which he did provide to her according to the text messages."

The documents provided to FOX 8 News did not show names of the three officers who were suspended.  But the copy provided to FOX 8 had many of the names from the original document redacted.

Those individuals whose names were redacted from the document were having conversations with Gaug about prostitution and steroids that, according to the report, the investigators were told was done "in a joking manner."

In response to our request through the Freedom of Information Act, the Stark County Sheriff's Office admits they redact any names of peace officers in those reports.

In his short release, Chief Angelo stated the department does not take violations of their rules and regulations lightly.

The release does not detail what the officers are said to have done to violate those department rules.