§ 13. Office of Municipal Investigation  


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  • There is hereby established an office of municipal investigation to be administered by a municipal investigations manager, appointed by and subject to the control and supervision of the city manager. The office shall have such assistants and staff as may be authorized by the city manager, including such investigations, law enforcement personnel or other specialized skilled persons as are necessary to fully investigate and report on allegations of serious misconduct.

    (a) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following words and terms shall have the meanings as defined hereunder. Words used in the masculine gender include the feminine, and the feminine the masculine. Where any word or term is not defined, the ordinarily accepted meaning within the proper context shall apply.

    (1) Person means any natural person, proprietorship, corporation, government, partnership, trust, joint venture, group, association, organization or other business or enterprise of any kind or nature and any division, department or other suborganizational unit.

    (2) Serious misconduct for a city employee means bribery, theft of city property, improper discharge of firearms, coercion, excessive use of physical force in the conduct of official duties, performance of a lawful, official act in an illegal or improper manner and serious violation of a law, rule or regulation which may be considered as reasonable cause for dismissal from public employment or the filing of criminal charges.

    (3) Serious misconduct for a person who contracts in writing with the city means bribery of a city officer, agent or employee, theft of city property, defrauding the city or any violation of a law involving transactions related to the written contract with the city or compliance with any clause under the written contract.

    (4) Shots fired means the deliberate and intentional discharge of a firearm by a police officer at or toward another individual or individuals.

    (5) Criminal intelligence information means information on identifiable individuals compiled in an effort to anticipate, prevent or monitor possible criminal activity.

    (b) Powers and duties.

    (1) The municipal investigations manager shall have the responsibility and power to investigate and inquire into any serious misconduct of any city employee or other person who contracts in writing with the city and may review the process and decision of various departmental investigations upon request of the complainant. The municipal investigations manager shall immediately commence and conduct an investigation into any shots fired.

    (2) When authorized by the city manager (or the council if the city manager is the object of an investigation), the municipal investigations manager may request assistance from other city departments and/or outside consultants to aid such investigations.

    (3) With the exception of shots fired, conduct that is not considered serious by the municipal investigations manager or the appropriate department director or commissioner shall be investigated at the department level through the proper administrative channels.

    (4) The municipal investigations manager and person assisting in the conduct of an investigation shall be prepared to participate as witnesses and to present testimony and evidence to those tribunals, administrative or criminal, that retain jurisdiction after an investigation is concluded.

    (c) Complaint.

    (1) Investigations shall be commenced upon the receipt of a complaint of or knowledge by the municipal investigations manager of serious misconduct or shots fired. The municipal investigations manager shall receive priority notification from the police division of shots fired and shall immediately commence an investigation at the scene of the incident, including having access to witnesses subjects and evidence, without interfering with the criminal investigation.

    (2) All city departments shall report all serious misconduct to and refer all complaints of serious misconduct or other complaints specified herein to the city manager or the municipal investigations manager. If parallel investigations are necessary, the municipal investigations manager shall consult with the city manager and the departments involved and shall be responsible for the coordination of the investigations.

    (d) Employee protection. All city supervisors shall refrain from any coercion or reprisal toward any city employee who files a complaint under this section. A violation of this section may give good cause for or constitute a ground for reduction in pay, suspension, removal or any other administrative disciplinary action in accordance with Section 124.34, Ohio Revised Code, the rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and the city's personnel policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action. The city supervisor shall have the right to appeal from any such disciplinary action as provided by law, rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and such other rights as provided by the city's personnel policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action.

    (e) Conduct of investigation.

    (1) At the commencement of an investigation, the municipal investigations manager shall have immediate access to all city records, documents and employees, including employee personnel records and departmental investigation files and reports, with the exception of any record, document, file or report which contains any criminal intelligence information which can only be released upon order of the city manager. When, in the opinion of the municipal investigations manager, records, witnesses and documents are needed which cannot otherwise be obtained, he or she may petition council, or any committee thereof authorized by it, to exercise its subpoena power for the purposes of aiding an investigation under the provisions of this section. Said subpoena power shall be exercised in accordance with Section 705.21 of the Ohio Revised Code. Confidentiality of records shall be protected according to law.

    (2) Investigations are to be conducted according to law. The use of extraordinary investigative methods shall be in accordance with the law and subject to review by the city solicitor and the city manager prior to implementation.

    (f) Appearance. The municipal investigations manager shall have the authority to require the appearance of any city employee during his regular assigned working hours, whenever possible, and to question such employee regarding matters specifically relating to any serious misconduct. Any city employee shall be permitted to have union or legal representation during all questioning. A city employee may not refuse to submit to such questioning because of the unavailability within a reasonable time or union or legal representation. An employee's refusal to answer questions propounded to him may give good cause for or constitute a ground for reduction in pay, suspension, removal or any other administrative disciplinary action in accordance with Section 124.34 Ohio Revised Code, the rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and the city's policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action. No disciplinary action for failure to respond to questions shall be taken unless the employee was warned prior to the questions being propounded to him that the failure to respond may be the basis for administrative disciplinary action, including dismissal. The employee shall have the right to appeal from such disciplinary action as provided by law, the rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and such other rights as provided by the city's personnel policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action.

    (g) Interference with Investigation.

    (1) No city employee or any person contracting in writing with the city shall prevent, obstruct or otherwise hinder any investigation conducted under the authority of this section. Any violation of this paragraph may give good cause for or constitute a ground for reduction in pay, suspension, removal or any other administrative disciplinary action in accordance with Section 124.34 Ohio Revised Code, the rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and the city's policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action. The city employee shall have the right to appeal from such disciplinary action as provided by law, the rules of the Cincinnati Civil Service Commission and such other rights as provided by the city's personnel policies and procedures relating to disciplinary action.

    (2) Every city official, city employee or office and every person contracting in writing with the city shall cooperate with investigations under this section. The municipal investigations manager shall solicit the voluntary cooperation of all other persons with its investigations.

    (h) Report of investigation. At the conclusion of the investigation, the municipal investigations manager shall submit to the city manager a written report containing final conclusions and pertinent facts. The city manager shall provide such report or a summary thereof to the complainant, to the accused and to the appropriate department director or commissioner. Upon request, the city manager may make available such report or a summary thereof to the public.

(Ordained by Ord. No. 10-1980, eff. Jan. 9, 1980; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 180-1981, eff. May 13, 1981; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 1980-1982, eff. May 26, 1982; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 457-1983, eff. Sept. 21, 1983; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 101-1984, eff. Mar. 30, 1984; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 451-1994, eff. Jan. 20, 1995; repealed and reordained by Ord. No. 221-1997, eff. Aug. 4, 1997)