Officials delay party probe hearing

Girard Police
Girard Police

GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – Officials postponed a disciplinary hearing originally scheduled for Monday morning for a Girard police officer who is on paid administrative leave.

The hearing was postponed because not all necessary parties could be present. It is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Girard City Building.

Eight teenagers are facing misdemeanor charges related to underage drinking, including Neely’s stepson, who investigators say hosted the party that was broken up earlier this month.

Police raided the home of Officer Larry Neely earlier this month after neighbors complained for months of underage beer parties taking place when the officer wasn’t home. Although Neely has been cleared of criminal charges in the case, he could be disciplined depending on whether Girard officials find out he knew the parties were going on and did nothing to stop them.

“The internal part of it even though it had to run in conjunction with the criminal part to see what everybody knew and who knew what going in is going to be actually a separate matter from this point forward,” said Girard Police Chief Jeff Palmer.

Neely has an extensive disciplinary record that dates back to 2009. He was suspended for 10 days in 2012 after records show he failed to respond to two calls in the same night.

Prior to that, he received counseling sessions, retraining and at least three other suspensions.

Police said they have identified 19 teenagers as being at a party involving underage drinking at Neely’s house.

Four teens and four adults will be hit with misdemeanor charges involving drinking. Officer Neely’s stepson, 18-year-old Michael Dulaney, is facing a misdemeanor charge for hosting the party, while 18-year-old James Cupan is being charged with possessing marijuana.

Police said they had been watching Neely’s house for some time before the charges were filed.

According to police reports, several tips started coming in to the Girard police department surrounding underage drinking parties at the 532 Mosier Road home of Patrolman Neely.

Tipsters told police the parties usual take place on Saturday nights and would begin about 9:30 p.m. Partygoers would park away from the house so they wouldn’t draw attention to the area, the report stated.

Police were patrolling the area the night of Feb. 8 when they spotted several cars parked on Iowa Avenue and witnessed several juveniles running from the cars to the Mosier Road house.

Officers approached the house and were met by Michael Delaney, 18, who led police to the garage area where officers “immediately observed multiple beer cans and the distinct smell of marijuana,” according to the report.

 

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