COLUMBUS, Ohio — Loose money, alcohol, and strippers. It was quite a mix and it all helped lead to the downfall of the Columbus Police Department Vice-Unit.
Details of the departmental charges against the officers involved are now being made public, with reports clearly outlining that the operation was trouble right from the start. For some officers involved, it could mean the end of their career.
The arrest of porn star and strip club money maker, Stormy Daniels - whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford - in July of 2018 continues to cast a cloud on CPD. She and two other women Documents released to 6 On Your Side Investigates Thursday detail departmental charges raining down on members of the now defunct Vice-unit.
Here's a list of those involved:
The charges differ for each officer’s involvement in the botched strip club take down. Charges indicate the operation was a mess from the start, with Commander Moore accused of approving it despite no real plan and not supervising the officers involved. During the operation, officers are accused of everything from unauthorized spending, not taking any action despite seeing cocaine being moved in the club, to improper questioning of Daniels.
The officers spent $760 that night on alcohol and lap dances, but department rules state any expense greater than $500 has to have prior approval. Investigators also say Officer Lancaster reported seeing a restroom attendant give the manager what was believed to be cocaine, but did nothing despite saying one of the goals of the investigation was to investigate drugs. In a notice about the charges sent to Lt. Kemmerling, Chief Quinlan noted that the actions and arrest of Daniels "deviated significantly from actions taken at every other strip club investigated..." and that no other suspect was ever arrested "On View" and taken to the Franklin County Jail.
Officers Rosser and Lancaster are also accused of not submitting accurate timekeeping records or schedule changes from September 2017 through July 2018.
When the final ruling slides down on this investigation, discipline for the five officers could range anywhere between a reprimand, to being kicked off the force. Something important to note, these are not young officers to the force. Their experience on the force ranges from 17 to 31 years with the department.
You can read the full charging documents below: