Briefing on investigation of former police chief, top officers in Olmsted Falls

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OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio -- A briefing was held Thursday morning to discuss the review and investigation of the former chief and top officers in the Olmsted Falls Police Department.

Chief William Traine said his predecessors acted unprofessionally and used their positions to bring domestic charges against Mayor Ann Marie Donegan in 2015.

A press release states:

"Less than 30 days after the case was filed it was dismissed by the Court. However, police leaders continued to try to press their case in the news media by leaking evidence. Chief Traine says all this happened after Mayor Donegan pressed for police reforms that were ultimately successful."

The FOX 8 I TEAM previously learned an internal investigation showed Donegan should have never been hit with a series of charges.

The report shows officers went out of their way to ruin the reputation and career of Donegan. We’ve also learned a special prosecutor looked at the case and found a police supervisor may have tampered with evidence.

In 2015, Olmsted Falls Police charged the mayor with domestic violence and more. A relative of the mayor had called 911 saying the mayor’s 11-year-old son called her crying after the mayor screamed at him. But there was no physical altercation. And a judge threw out the charges.

Long after the case, the Olmsted Falls Police Chief got fired for a variety of reasons. Then came the internal investigation.

The man who’s now the Chief said he found a report for the mayor’s case hidden under a desk mat. Plus, he found a computer jump drive with evidence in the case hidden in another desk. And he found CD recordings that hadn’t been turned over to prosecutors.

All of this is coming up again now after questions from a political opponent.

Donegan issued a statement Thursday saying:

"I am a mother first and Mayor second. My son and I have been harassed, investigated, and ultimately vindicated due to my push to reform the Olmsted Police Department.

Rogue police leaders, who have since left the department, tried to convict me of trumped-up charges that were dismissed less than a month after they were filed.”

Donegan also investigated filing a lawsuit against the city, and she received a settlement. Her statement Wednesday also addressed that.

She wrote:

“I accepted a settlement with the city's insurance carrier on behalf of my son and myself. I feel the settlement fairly reflected the outrageous behavior of these few officers and their union legal counsel. I am proud my administration was successful and we have an outstanding and professional police department."

Continuing coverage here

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