Safety Director Asks Police To Probe Conduct Of Deputy Chief


UPDATED: Friday March 18, 2011 11:07 AM
Mitchell Brown, the city's director of public safety, has requested an investigation into the conduct of a high-ranking police officer.
In a letter dated March 4, Brown asked Columbus police Chief Walter Distelzweig for information about Deputy Chief Jeffrey Blackwell. 10TV News obtained a copy of the letter on Thursday.
 
"It has come to my attention that Deputy Chief Jeffrey Blackwell recently testified in a criminal trial while wearing his Division of Police Uniform," Brown wrote. "There is an allegation that his testimony may have derived out of his personal and not his professional responsibilities.  If so, the wearing of the uniform I believe is an issue."
 
Blackwell asked Distelzweig to look into the issue, determine what occurred, and make a "recommendation appropriate to me."
 
Sources at the Franklin County Courthouse told 10TV News that Blackwell was subpoenaed by the defense in a criminal trial on March 2 to testify as a character witness for a Columbus man facing felony charges, including carrying a concealed weapon and improperly handling a firearm.
 
An attorney for the man accused in the case said his client gave him a list of character witnesses, including Blackwell.  The attorney said he spoke with Blackwell regarding testifying, but was told by Blackwell that he would only do so if subpoenaed.
 
10TV requested a comment from Blackwell but had not received a response as of late Thursday morning.
 
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.