Tuesday, July 03, 2001

3 city cops face scrutiny

2 face accusations; another suspended

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Two Cincinnati police officers with histories of disciplinary actions against them face new accusations, while a third has been suspended.

        Lt. Aaron Taylor, 47, a 20-year veteran, is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, the division announced Monday.

        The division did not say whether the leave was paid or unpaid, or when the suspension began.

        Lt. Taylor, a supervisor in the Youth Services Section, was targeted for investigation following a routine audit of grants awarded to the Scouting and Community Oriented Policing Efforts, or SCOPE, program, division officials said.

        The officer was administrator of that program, which works with the Boy Scouts and Cincinnati Public Schools to have officers mentor at-risk youths.

        Also Monday, Officer Darius Brannon appeared in Hamilton County Municipal Court to answer a domestic violence charge. He was ar rested Saturday by his colleagues after his wife accused him of punching his 14-year-old stepson.

        Out of jail on bond, he was ordered to return to court July 16. His wife Monday asked a judge to issue an order that the officer be kept away from their home in College Hill.

        An investigation also is under way into an incident involving Sgt. Ed Greene, who handcuffed a motorist in Montgomery on June 25 while he was off-duty and out of his jurisdiction.

        The sergeant followed the motorist to Sneaky Pete's bar, where the man worked, after he started to change lanes on Montgomery Road and forced Sgt. Greene to drive left of center into oncoming traffic, according to a Montgomery police report.

        The two exchanged words.

        Officer Greene said he tried to call Montgomery police, but that they couldn't understand him on the radio. The motorist became verbally abusive, the report said, and the sergeant handcuffed him after he reached in his car to get a Coke.

        Montgomery police arrived and removed the cuffs, Montgomery Chief Kirk Nordbloom said. No charges were filed and the man, contacted by the Enquirer on Monday, refused comment.

        Lt. Taylor's personnel file does not indicate any discipline history. However, Sgt. Greene, 31, and Officer Brannon, 33, have previous problems:

        • Sgt. Greene, an officer since 1994 and a supervisor the past two years, was reprimanded last year for failing to show up promptly for an internal affairs interview, in 1998 for running radar during prohibited rush-hour times, in 1997 for disobeying a supervisor's order, and in 1996 for missing court four times in 12 months.

        He was suspended in 1998 for failing to check on a man whose niece reported him missing. He stayed at the scene 23 minutes, but did not locate the man, who was found dead inside four days later.

        Sgt. Greene's latest performance evaluation, in December: a score of 12.92, less than half the possible 25.

        • Officer Brannon, on the force since 1993, was disciplined in 1997 for buying a 19-year-old woman alcohol, and was suspended in 1996 for sleeping and drinking alcohol during an off-duty detail.

        In 1999, he was ordered to undergo mandatory drug and alcohol screening for 12 months after again falling asleep and drinking alcohol during an off-duty detail, this time at the BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Over-the-Rhine.

        The most recent performance evaluation in his file, from January 2000, gave him an overall score of 15, with an encouragement to study for a promotion to specialist. It also said he had an attitude problem and “disciplinary issues to overcome.”

        Enquirer reporter Kristina Goetz contributed to this story.



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