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Former Kent State University police official gets drug treatment for felony conviction

By Dave O'Brien | Staff Writer Published: January 29, 2013 4:00 AM
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A former Kent State University police official was ordered Monday to enter drug treatment after pleading guilty in Portage County Common Pleas Court to two felony drug and weapons charges and a misdemeanor drunken driving charge.

Daniel P. FitzPatrick, 57, of 9428 Griffith Road, Paris, pleaded guilty in Judge John Enlow's court to carrying a concealed weapon, a fourth-degree felony, possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and operating a vehicle under the influence, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Finding that FitzPatrick's addiction contributed to his crimes, Enlow immediately sentenced FitzPatrick to intervention in lieu of conviction, meaning he must complete a one year drug rehabilitation program under the supervision of the Portage County Adult Probation Department. If he does so successfully, his guilty pleas will be vacated and his felony convictions dismissed, Enlow said.

Enlow also sentenced FitzPatrick to 10 days in jail, but suspended the jail term on the condition he attend a three-day Driver Intervention Program and pay a $375 fine, a common sentence for first-time OVI offenders. FitzPatrick's driver's license was suspended for six months.

FitzPatrick answered only "yes" or "no" to Enlow's questions regarding his guilty plea. He had no other comment in court.

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FitzPatrick was pulled over by an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper on Dec. 25, 2011. A search of his vehicle revealed a loaded 9 mm handgun and synthetic illegal drugs known as bath salts. His blood also tested positive for marijuana.

FitzPatrick was not arrested at the time. Instead, a Portage County grand jury indicted him on the charges in July 2012 following an investigation and testing on the suspected illegal drugs. He initially pleaded not guilty and remained free on bond pending trial.

FitzPatrick retired as an assistant police chief for the Kent State University Police Department in 2008. During his tenure, he was the director of the Western Portage Drug Task Force, the precursor to the Portage County Drug Task Force. Most recently, he was an adjunct justice studies professor at Kent State.

Follow Dave O'Brien on Twitter at @RCCrimeWatch

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1128 or dobrien@recordpub.com

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anonymous Jan 30, 2013 11:35 PM

This dude looks like Major "CHAOS" Dale kelly and "LYIN" Larry Limbert on a good day. Soon enough we will see both of those jokers mug shots, only under a federal statute!

anonymous Jan 30, 2013 2:01 PM

Lol what a stoner..

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 4:43 PM

So i guess you major in Stonerism 101 at KSU then get hired by their police force. Assistant police chief. WOW!! Wonder how many cops he oversaw while being high?? And how did no one ever notice this? Or maybe they did. Wink, nod.

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 2:27 PM

Nope. Mr. Fitzpatrick has been doing drugs all of his life. Sorry KSU! You employed a life time criminal who got away with it right under your noses!

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 12:32 PM

I wasn't sure if this was a man or woman!!

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 11:37 AM

I remember back in the '90s (? it was quite a while ago) there was drug testing talk on the KSU campus. I forget the specifics of who and under what circumstances, students, student athletes or Faculty and Staff, whether testing would be random or what. WHAT I DO REMEMBER is the Stator (student paper) reported Kent State Universities Police Chief John Peach saying, effectively, his officers wouldn't be subject to whatever drug testing was being discussed because there needed to be a "level of trust". I believe thats a direct quote, it's certainly close enough. This isn't to say Fitz was choking down smoke while an active LEO, I have no direct knowledge if he did or not but it IS interesting that Peach wasn't going to random his officers though.

Maybe FitzPatrick is like many of our age, held positions of responsibility and when retirement was achieved could finally let the hair down. Specially after random screens were instituted for everything down to flipping burgers. And therein lays the "humor", for the better part of two decades one has needed to agree to peeing in a bottle (and now give hair and/ or bleed) if one wanted a job sweeping floors but to have a position where one carries a firearm and has the ability to arbitrarily curtail civil liberties, * not so much * . Or at least not back then.

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 11:13 AM

"The Portage County Discount House of Justice" "Lowest Sentences, Always" "No Plea Deal Refused"! Special Discounts for The Good ole Boys & Girls.

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 9:20 AM

Of course KSU will keep him on as they have since he was charged in he first place. It's just what happens in our schools/city/county entities. For instance, Portage Co prosecutors office still employs the woman who accused her former lover of abuse, right? Streetsboro schools still keep their BOE member that was arrested on felonious charges of OVI and other charges related to her crash in Sept. Granted, she hasn't received her day in court yet because she has lawyers who are working hard to continue delaying the trial. Probably so she can continue her work as a principle for Cleveland school system. But, I'm betting even after her conviction, where she will probably similary receive a very weak sentencing as this former cop, she will continue to keep her job on the BOE here. Who knows what Cleveland will do with her. Its just how these public entities seem to work. Cover up and ignore bad employees. There are many other stories of this in our area too. This just happens to be one that made the papers. Remember a while back the Aurora Cop who was arrested for OVI, but he still works in Aurora as a cop. And he was the liaison for the MADD program in that city. Its a sad world we live in where people aren't held to an accountability standard.

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 8:33 AM

Stanback: Yes..the good ol' boys of Portage County have proven that former police officers/assistant police chiefs get special treatment under the law. You didn't read it wrong. I wonder if or when his charges are vacated if he will teach our children again at KSU about crime!

anonymous Jan 29, 2013 8:21 AM

I must have read this wrong. He was pulled over and had a concealed loaded 9mm handgun, had synthetic illegal drugs (bath salts), and was driving under the influence and WAS NOT ARRESTED AT THE TIME. What was the reasoning behind that?