By KAYLA VAN DYNE
Times Leader Staff Writer
SHADYSIDE Michael Meintel spoke before Shadyside Village Council last week in regard to village police officer G. Michael Jenkins.
Specifically, he questioned how someone with Jenkins' background could be hired as an officer with the village.
This was his second time in front of council on this issue. Meintel used the previous meeting as a chance to get answers on the hiring process of police officers. Was a background check performed? Who eventually signs off on whether or not to hire an officer?
Wednesday, Meintel, who works as a licensed private investigator, was more forthcoming with what he discovered about Jenkins' background. His information was extensive.
"All that I have asked for is that the police chief and mayor do a proper background check on Gordon Michael Jenkins and share the findings with council," Meintel said. "Since my request has fallen on deaf ears, I believe that the council and the citizens of this village have a right to know the background of a police officer that the chief of police and the mayor have hired to protect this town."
Meintel then told the following:
Jenkins was the chief of police in Rayland until 16 charges were brought against him by village council. Eight were dismissed, but the other eight played into Jenkins' dismissal from his post, including: discourteous treatment of the public; neglect of duty; wrongfully withholding personal property. Council voted to fire Jenkins, 5-1.
Jenkins was dismissed from the Smithfield police department in 2006. Chief Timothy McIntire listed the following as reasons for his dismissal: Neglect in following department policies and procedures; breaking the chain of command; dereliction of duty; neglecting to inform of a change of address.
Jenkins was dismissed nine months after being hired by the Franklinton Police Department in North Carolina for "poor performance as a patrol officer." The report also states that "the agency would not consider Jenkins for reappointment."
Jenkins previously worked for Beep Beep Driving School in St. Clairsville, leaving after eight months. While Beep Beep representatives would not divulge details, he is not eligible to be hired again.
In 2006, while working as a ranger for the Muskingum Water Shed Conservancy District, harassment complaints were levied against Jenkins.
Meintel had more information and is currently looking into other incidences.
He closed by quoting the last paragraph of the police officer's creed. He then posed the question:
"I want to ask you how can a police officer with Jenkins' background be a symbol of public faith and how do you expect the citizens of Shadyside to put their trust into an officer with this background.
Meintel had heard stories from multiple Shadyside residents about Jenkins. Most were negative.
A few residents previously asked Meintel to look into Jenkins' background.
But it wasn't until Meintel's daughter had an incident with Jenkins did he decide to utilize his resources and skills to dig a little further.
On June 15, Meintel was out with his family following the events of the loop fest. Included in the party was his daughter Brooke, 18.
They had dinner and drinks at the Shady Spot and later made the rounds to other spots in town. During the course of the evening, Michael Meintel purchased his daughter a few alcoholic drinks, an act permissable by the Ohio Revised Code.
ORC 4301.69 (B) states that:
"No person who is the owner or occupant of any public or private place shall knowingly allow any underage person to remain in or on the place while possessing or consuming beer or intoxicating liquor, unless the intoxicating liquour or beer is given to the person possessing or consuming it by that person's parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian and the parent, spouse who is not an underage person, or legal guardian, is present at the time the person's possession or consumption of the beer or the intoxicating liquor."
After arriving at the Tiger Pub, Michael Meintel said goodbye to his family and headed home, leaving Brooke and her 21-year-old boyfriend with Brooke's mother.
"I told my daughter to stay with her mother and not to walk home," Meintel said. "She (Brooke) got separated from her mom and walked home with her boyfriend."
Brooke Meintel was arrested two houses from her home by Jenkins and charged with underage consumption and resisting arrest.
Van Dyne may be reached at email@example.com