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State park officers charged with dereliction of duty charges

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Feb 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

The Ohio Inspector General has issued a report of investigation finding two state park officers committed wrongful acts which resulted in the City of Cleveland prosecuting authorities filing dereliction of duty charges against both men.

The investigation was launched after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources notified the inspector general of the actions of Ohio Park Officer Brad Dobney and Ohio Park Officer Sgt. Josh Gardner.

(NOTE- To read the full report, scroll down to the end of the story and click on the link.)

The inspector general’s investigation found that while on patrol at Cleveland Lakefront State Park, the state park officers arrested LeEdward Hicks on open felony theft warrants issued by the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. After transporting the prisoner to the Cuyahoga County Justice Center, the park officers entered the public lobby but refused to follow the Cuyahoga County Jail intake procedure which requires all law enforcement officers to escort prisoners to the intake area where the prisoner is booked.

The inspector general’s report of investigation contains security video taken from the justice center at the front door lobby which shows the two park officers being directed to the intake area by Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s personnel stationed at the lobby entrance. The video ends as the park officers leave the justice center with Hicks still in handcuffs having failed to convince the sheriff’s personnel to take custody of the prisoner in the public lobby.

Rather than comply with the intake process, the park officers violated the orders of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. The park officers returned Hicks to their patrol car and transported him to East 55th Street and St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland. His handcuffs removed, the parks officers released Hicks into a residential neighborhood.

At the time of this release, LeEdward Hicks remains at-large with felony theft warrants pending.

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