Federal officials to probe Akron officer's videos

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm •  Published: May 9, 2014
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Federal authorities have agreed to re-examine whether a former Akron police officer broke any laws when he used a pen camera clipped to his shirt pocket to record arrests and other police activities.

Donald Schismenos, 47, used the pen camera and a dashboard camera to record thousands of hours of video and audio, along with photographs, that were found on a police computer system in July 2011. Schismenos was placed on paid leave the following month and resigned in December 2013.

The discovery of the files led to investigations by Akron police, the Summit County prosecutor's office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, along with reviews by the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland. No disciplinary action was taken against Schismenos and no criminal charges were filed.

The latest investigation comes at the request of Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, who in a statement referred to Schismenos' recordings as "rogue actions." Akron ministers complained about Schismenos' activities after a series of articles about the former officer appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal.

Schismenos used the pen camera to not only record police activities but also discussions with colleagues and court proceedings, including one in federal court where recording devices are not permitted, a county official said.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, investigators found nearly 2,000 videos and 38,000 images that Schismenos had uploaded to police computers. The files were found after the computer system began acting sluggish because Schismenos' files took up one-third of its storage capacity.

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