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Special Prosecutor Will Determine Whether Columbus Cop May Be Investigated For Dereliction Of Duty

Jul 17, 2018

Columbus Police commander MarkGardner
Credit twitter.com

The Columbus City Attorney's office says a special prosecutor will be hired to determine whether the statute of limitations has expired for investigating allegations a white Columbus police commander improperly put emails about potential sexual abuse of a dozen black children in his junk folder. 

Democratic State Representative Bernadine Kennedy Kent and others have accused Mark Gardner of dereliction of duty after he testified in a 2014 civil lawsuit about it. 

Kennedy Kent has been filing complaints with police for years and once was categorized by the division as a serial complainer. Bishop Donald Washington of Mount Hermon Missionary Baptist Church is calling for the firing of Gardner and police chief Kim Jacobs.

Council president Shannon Hardin says there's not much the panel can do.

But a spokesperson read a letter from city attorney Zach Klein at city council last night that a police legal adviser determined the statute of limitations had passed. 

The head of the Columbus Fraternal Order of police calls the re-examination unfortunate. Jason Pappas says he's confident a dereliction of duty charge is not warranted. The announcement was made as Council approved legislation establishing a 25-member commission to study the quality of life of black females between the ages of 11 and 22 and issue recommendations for improvement. Fran Frazier of the group Rise Sister Rise co-chairs the new commission.

The commission is empaneled through 2020.

Here is a link to a video of Garner's testimony: