No charges for Girard officer

GIRARD – Girard police officer Larry Neely will not be facing criminal charges for any involvement he may have had in a Feb. 8 gathering in his garage, where people under the legal drinking age drank alcohol and smoked marijuana.

Neely, 39, has been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 12.

Girard police Chief Jeff Palmer said Tuesday afternoon that criminal and internal investigations into the case are completed, and that investigators were unable to prove that Neely, who was on duty at the time of the parties, had any knowledge of the gathering at his Mosier Road home.

Palmer said any disciplinary action taken against Neely would be handled internally.

“We are waiting on scheduling for a pre-disciplinary meeting for Officer Neely, which is contractual between the city and OPBA (Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association),” Palmer said. “That will take place within seven to 10 days, and at that point, it will be advised of what internal charges and penalties he is facing.”

Palmer said that both adults and underaged people are facing charges stemming from the bust. However all charges will be misdemeanors.

Police said they received tips that there had been parties involving underage drinking at the home, and on Feb. 12, officers on patrol noticed a growing number of vehicles full of juveniles in the area. Those charged included several 18-year-old adults and multiple teens, reports state.

Palmer said that the vast majority of those charged with offenses will be treated by the city as first-time offenders.

“The big thing about (this situation) is that it all took place at a police officer’s house,” Palmer said.