A veteran Columbus police officer is facing three counts of dereliction of duty, and the division plans to develop more formal procedures to review the integrity of cases.
Alison Holm has more.
Interim Police Chief Thomas Quinlan says Detective Amy Welsh, a 24-year veteran of the physical abuse, sexual assault and homicide divisions, is facing three counts of dereliction and has been relieved of duty.
Questions about Welsh’s conduct began in 2018, after the suspect in a 2012 felonius assault case was acquitted of all charges. The victim was the daughter of a Columbus police officer, and he filed an internal affairs complaint about the way Welsh conducted the investigation.
Preliminary investigation uncovered multiple incidents of Welsh being on the clock but not on the job, and Quinlan she was temporarily relieved of duty
“When we looked in her desk to gather the property to relieve her of duty we discovered multiple case files from previous assignments that she has had. She had property in there; cellphones, wallets with multiple ID cards and other things that were clearly stored in violation of division policy regarding evidence.
Further investigation revealed that Welsh had not submitted the victims assault examination kit. A property clerk discovered the untested kit and submitted it, which led to a DNA match. Welsh was notified in 2014 that there was a match, but never followed it up. She also allegedly ignored a follow up notice about the match in 2015.
Welsh faces two counts of dereliction in that case, and a third count for a kidnapping case in June 2018. A car left running in front of a business on East Livingston Avenue was stolen, with two children in the backseat. Welsh subpoenaed video footage from the business, but court records indicate she never reviewed the information, and closed the investigation three months later for lack of evidence.
Welsh will appear in court September 27th to face three charges, and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien says other cases that Welsh was involved in are under review. He says that process is not new.
“This existed in our office in talking with the Chief not only on this case, but on the quite familiar instances involving the vice bureau of the police department. We’re going to try and provide for a more formal review of those kind of issues.”
Chief Quinlan says 477 sexual cases from 2012 to 2018 have been reviewed by the police conviction-intergrity review team, and eight of them have been reopened. 58 homicides and 55 physical abuse cases have been reviewed, but no further investigation was deemed necessary.