WILMINGTON — Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand was placed on administrative leave Tuesday pending the outcome of investigations of WPD personnel and a review of internal procedures, following the advice of the city’s legal counsel, Brett Geary of Columbus-area firm Clemans Nelson & Associates, Mayor John Stanforth announced Wednesday afternoon.
The decision comes in the wake of four separate investigations now underway involving two current officers, a former patrol officer, and an administrative assistant. The investigations are ongoing at this time, according to a news release from the city.
“The city of Wilmington takes all allegations of misconduct against employees very seriously, which is why we have sought independent investigations into allegations against our officers and staff,” said Stanforth.
Stanforth said separate investigations of alleged misconduct involve police officers Josh Riley and Anthony Mitchell, who are on administrative leave, former officer Jerry Popp, and Anna Collins, the department’s administrative assistant, who has also been place on administrative leave.
The city has further been advised by legal counsel not to discuss specific allegations against employees until the completion of investigations, the city advised.
Stanforth said that Sgt. Ron Cravens has been appointed acting chief. A department employee since 1999, Sgt. Cravens was named Officer of the Year in 2017.
“We depend on our police department to help provide a safe environment for the community, and the city is committed to protecting the integrity of our department and the faith and trust that our citizens place in it,” said Stanforth.
The News Journal reported in late December that the Wilmington Police Department received a complaint of alleged misconduct within the department, and as a result of that complaint, Chief Detective Josh Riley was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation of the allegations by an outside agency.
Weyand said in late December that, “Currently, the matter is an ongoing investigation with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and no conclusive findings have been made as of this date; therefore, to ensure the legitimacy of the investigation, the city can only direct requests for additional information to that office.”
The News Journal reported in early December that now former officer and K9 handler Jerry Popp had left the WPD to “pursue other opportunities.”