Deputy disciplined

Huron County sergeant failed to ticket wife of fire chief involved in two-vehicle accident.
Scott Seitz2
Oct 5, 2013


A Huron County sheriff's deputy was disciplined Thursday after an in-house investigation was conducted into his handling of a Sept. 20 two-vehicle crash.

Sgt. Steve Shupp was issued a verbal warning and will also undergo re-training with regards to the sheriff's office canons and ethics after he failed to follow policy, according to Chief Deputy Ted Patrick.

"Sgt. Shupp handled a crash investigation on Sept. 20 on Chenango Road near New London that involved two vehicles," Patrick said.

"A female had backed into the path of another vehicle that was traveling southbound on Chenango Road," he added.

"Sgt. Shupp investigated the crash and found one individual to be at-fault in the accident," Patrick said. "But, he neglected to cite her."

The Reflector requested copies of the crash report from the HCSO, which it provided.

The crash report stated the female who was operating the Ford F-150 that backed into the path of a second vehicle was driven by Valerie Chapin, wife of New London Fire Chief John Chapin.

The crash report also showed where Chapin admitted she was at-fault in the crash.

Shupp is also a member of the New London Fire Department.

"Sgt. Shupp was asked why the female was not cited," Patrick said. "Sgt. Shupp indicated he felt he had officer discretion in that situation.

"It was determined who was at-fault in the crash and according to our policy he had an obligation to cite her," Patrick said. "So, I instructed Sgt. Shupp to go back and issue her a citation."

Patrick said he asked Shupp if he did not issue Chapin a citation because her husband was his fire chief in New London.

"He said, no," Patrick said.

Patrick gave examples regarding officer discretion.

"If an officer sees you driving 65 mph in a 55-mph zone, the officer has the discretion to issue you a citation," Patrick said. "Sometimes the officer will, sometimes they won't.

"If an officer sees you roll through a stop sign, sometimes you will be issued a citation, other times not," he added.

"You are to be issued a citation at an at-fault crash," Patrick said. "That's the policy.

"Sgt. Shupp used poor judgment, was disciplined and will be re-trained on the canons and ethics section of the policy by a lieutenant," he said. "Then, we will move forward."

Patrick said proper citations during a crash are also important for insurance reasons, so the responsible person's insurance can pay for the damages.

"Deputies are to maintain an impartial and high level of integrity when making decisions," Sheriff Dane Howard said.

This incident was Shupp's second with regards to ethics in the past year.

In June 2012, Shupp was disciplined for instructing a dispatcher to run a non-law enforcement/personal information search through the HCSO computer.

The Reflector learned this through a personnel file request Thursday.



Well well, lookee here.

enough of the bs

Looks like Shupp is the next victim in the HCSO witch hunt. Another one thrown under the BUS!!!


This is nothing more than BS. And he has to go through retraining on Ethics? Maybe that retraining should start from the top first!!! Keep your heads up Steve and Todd. Voting season isnt far away!

all fact or all...

Don't any of you feel the woman the fire chiefs wife backed into should be able to collect off her insurance claim for the full benefits without a premium increase because no one was found at fault if there isn't a citation. Friendships and bad feelings should be set aside and the right thing is to issue a citation to the person that caused the accident. Deductibles are high enough and so are premiums these days.


You do not need to write a ticket just because someone is at fault. They will suffer enough from the insurance issues.


Since Chief Deputy Patrick is doling out discipline, how about CHIEF DEPUTY PATRICK discipline the PERSON who "misplaced" the assault weapon?

Seems only certain employees are disciplined and held to a standard while others are not.


Some people do not look in the Mirror when handling discipline to to others, Maybe you should Theodore! Before you send other deputies to the Newspaper Firing Squad. This public display of employees on the newspaper, is not good for employee, the department, or the county.
The BUS Department has to go,and Centers and Seitz2 can go with the BUS and new kids on the BUS! AINT NO SUNSHINE 0604 when HE (BUS) is GONE!!!


It's not an assault weapon.... Stupid democrats


Democrat? lmao....Gun, rifle, AR... How about we say weapon so your little girl knickers don't get in a bunch?


A gun is a tool that has many uses. Target practice, hunting, varmint control, etc.

A weapon has only one use. To kill another human.

That's why many differentiate.


The risks of a job that has a "voted in" boss.


The risk of a job that has a "voted in" boss.


Sorry 'bout the double post.


He should just go ahead and give a citation to everyone he pulls over. Let the judge sort them out from there. You can't discriminate if everyone gets a ticket...


tried to warn you about dane howard; should have voted in jamie bracken now your dealing with all the power trips; really need a good man to run for sheriff somebody like todd corbin a war hero and a man who cares about the county


what huh


Aw so sorry Steve, this guy is truly an excellent sheriff with a heart, it's a shame to be punished for that! Keep up your good work:)


Valerie Chapin, wife of New London Fire Chief John Chapin....The crash report also showed where Chapin admitted she was at-fault in the crash.....
Shupp is also a member of the New London Fire Department.
Because her husband is a Fire Chief and Shupp is a fireman I can see why he wouldn't want to write the ticket.Because he wears a badge and is sworn to uphold the law I can't see why he didn't write the ticket.That's just wrong.Treat your friend different from those you don't know? unethical or at least not right.Wonder if the fire chief had any influence over his fireman? Whether your from New London or Norwalk if you brake the laws the outcome should be the same. If you know the cop or not.

Kottage Kat

Has been done for years
If you looked real deep
One of Dane's stoolies ragged him out
The S O is a mess

sunshine 0604

This is wrong on so many levels. How in the world does this Deputy think that It is okay not to cite the woman. She admitted she is at fault and of course he isn't going to admit that he didn't cite her because he works for the fire chief, but I think we all know all to well that is the reason. Wonder what else this Deputy is doing that he shouldn't be that is yet to be uncovered if he is scared to cite his volunteer firefighters chiefs wife. Shame on you people for thinking this is okay to do. Wish the reflector would determine what non law enforcement person that he ran through the computer...that is kinda scary!


Most of us were making the point that SOME employees are disciplined while others are not. In addition to the missing rifle I remember a high ranking employee that wrecked a vehicle and he was never disciplined. Corbin swerved to hit a deer and was disciplined, you call that fair? There are many other offenses/instances that were kept quiet as well. I'm tired of seeing good employees (McLaughlins, Corbin, Shupp, Kerber, Sommers, etc.) get pushed out and harassed.


@verballkint - This of course is the chance that is taken when Democrats are voted in. Some of them have very different ideas about how government departments should be run. Sheriff Sutherland, who originally ran for office as an independent, ran as non-partisan a department as possible when he was sheriff - that's among the reasons that Democrat Howard had a job there. Voters should always be careful when voting for these jobs.


I agree Verbal. My big question is WHY Corbin was charged as well. He is a fine officer and a war hero...But the Erie County Deputy WHO IS NOT A HERO IN ANY WAY was nevercharged and is on disability???


I agree the HSCO has a lot of internal problems and this is definitely one of them. Most everyone who comments on here doesn't have a single clue. Certain employees of HCSO are being singled out and "thrown under the bus" while others get away for free and can do as they wish. Something has to change with it because there are other employees getting away with a lot more than just a citation issue. Even if Shupp was wrong about the citation the only reason it made headlines was because he knew the person. Think about the other stuff you don't know about that goes all the way up to the Sheriff himself, he doesn't get called out because it stays quiet.


who cares if he doesnt write a ticket for her being at fault. I know many Officers that 90% of the time WONT write a ticket for an at fault accident.


He should have had a different deputy handle it an avoid any conflict of interest.


For every single person saying how bad of a guy he is....what will your thoughts be when he comes to your rescue when your house is burning or your car is wrecked? He will be your hero then right? Maybe he already saved your home or life and you didn't realize it. Forget the police badge and throw in the fire badge and his one small mistake doesn't seem that huge of a deal does it? I love how closed minded some of you are.


sunshine 0604 is a det sgt. How ethical is it to call out other sgt's out on here, this is not the first time. Time to think about the points on that star.


Great way to deflect why didn't you have any of your standards when your bud was out there letting the chief's wife walk? Your Jedi mind tricks may work else where,but not down here.
Liberty and Justice for all.(but if your married to the fire chief you don't get a ticket?)This ain't no big deal but what else has he turned his back on?