Friday, November 03, 2000

Ruling backs sheriff hopeful


Laney fought suspension by Fairfield Twp.

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — A Butler County judge found insufficient evidence to support one of two allegations that caused Fairfield Township Police Capt. Alan Laney to be suspended from his job for three days earlier this year.

        In a recent decision, Com mon Pleas Judge Matthew Crehan reversed the township trustees' findings that Capt. Laney misused his authority.

        But the judge supported the trustees' finding that Capt. Laney violated the township policy against using township property for non-township business.

        The allegations dated to October 1999. Capt. Laney, now the Democratic candidate for Butler County sheriff, was accused of allowing a police cruiser to be used in a political campaign commer cial for Gail Livelsburger, who was running against Trustee Joe McAbee.

        Capt. Laney said he didn't know that the person who asked to videotape the police cruiser was going to use it in a political ad. Judge Crehan said evidence supported Capt. Laney's defense.

        Capt. Laney said he will ask for back pay with interest for the three-day suspension he served and for the suspension to be erased from his record.

        He said the allegation that Judge Crehan allowed to stand merits no more than a reprimand.

        Jack Grove, the township's attorney, said the trustees haven't decided whether to appeal Judge Crehan's decision to the 12th District Court of Appeals in Middletown.

        The allegation of misuse of authority concerned whether Capt. Laney ordered an officer to drive the cruiser on Hassfurt Drive so that the producer of the political ad could film it.

       



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