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A Mahoning County Sheriff sergeant agreed Wednesday to take a three-day unpaid suspension punishment for allowing a superior officer to convince him to un-arrest his friend, Mahoning County Auditor Michael Sciortino, for drunken driving.
Sgt. James Touville and Sheriff Jerry Greene reached an agreement Wednesday instead of proceeding to Touville’s pre-disciplinary hearing.
Touville pulled Sciortino over for erratic driving May 26 on U.S. Route 224 near Raccoon Road. Sciortino failed field sobriety tests and told Touville he had a few drinks that night. The state attorney general’s office is now investigating to see if any charges can be filed against Sciortino.
Touville, according to a report by the Summit County Sheriff’s Department, who investigated impropriety by the officers involved, radioed he was arresting Sciortino for drunken driving.
Touville’s commanding officer, Maj. Jeff Allen, alerted former Lt. T.J. Assion, Sciortino’s friend, about the arrest. Assion then called Touville and told him he would be there soon.
Allen was eventually given a 10-day suspension for failing to alert Greene to a “high-profile” situation. Assion was demoted to sergeant, which included a $19,000 per year pay cut.
Assion told investigators he became involved in the situation to get Sciortino out of a drunken driving charge.
Assion, when he arrived at the scene, asked Touville if he could “work with” him on the arrest and give Sciortino a ride home.
The report says Assion asked Toueville how Sciortino was and Touville replied: “He is kinda messed up.”
Assion and Touville both decided Sciortino’s impairment was “medically related” though investigators noted no one, including Sciortino, asked for medical assistance, the report says.