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KSU instructor set to teach classes after guilty plea in drug, gun case

By Thomas Gallick | Staff Writer Published: February 3, 2013 4:00 AM

A former Kent State University police official who pleaded guilty to felony drug and weapons charges Monday is still scheduled to teach classes at the university this semester.

Daniel P. FitzPatrick, 57, of Paris, was sentenced Monday by Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow to enter a drug treatment program after pleading guilty 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.

FitzPatrick began his police career at the KSU Police Department in 1978 and rose to the rank of assistant chief before his retirement from the force in 2008.

He taught criminology and justice studies classes at KSU during and after his time on the KSU police force.

As of Saturday, KSU's website still lists FitzPatrick as an instructor employed by the university, which KSU spokesman Eric Mansfield confirmed.

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"Dan FitzPatrick is still scheduled as an adjunct to teach two classes this semester," Mansfield said. "In regards to his personal life, we're not going to be able to comment. We don't comment on our employees' personal lives."

Mansfield said he also could not comment on whether FitzPatrick was or is the subject of an ongoing employment review by the university.

The Ohio Revised Code requires public universities to hold a disciplinary hearing, which could result in suspension or termination, if a student or employee is arrested for "an offense of violence" on or near the campus. The code does not require such a hearing for other offenses, but does not prevent universities from holding a hearing or taking disciplinary actions if students or employees commit a non-violent offense.

According to the KSU employment policy "... to be involved in the possession, use, distribution of and sale of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited."

KSU's online employee resource manual states that "the university does not tolerate certain acts and behaviors which are unproductive and detrimental to the university." The manual lists behaviors that the university will not tolerate, which include immoral conduct, violation of any KSU policy or work rule and conviction of a felony.

FitzPatrick's pleas stem from a Dec. 25, 2011, incident in which an Ohio Highway Patrol trooper found a loaded 9 mm handgun and synthetic drugs known as bath salts in FitzPatrick's possession following a traffic stop. His blood also tested positive for marijuana, according to court records.

A grand jury indicted FitzPatrick on the charges in July 2012 following testing to determine the composition of the synthetic drugs. He pleaded not guilty initially, and was released on bond awaiting trial prior to his eventual guilty pleas.

Enlow sentenced FitzPatrick to treatment in lieu of conviction, meaning his guilty pleas will be vacated and his felony convictions will be dismissed if he completes a one-year treatment program.

KSU has not yet responded to a request filed Thursday for FitzPatrick's personnel records.

Contact this reporter at 330-298-1126 or tgallick@recordpub.com

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anonymous Feb 3, 2013 9:51 AM

This is absurd! I cannot believe KSU would allow such a hypocrite to teach! It's teaching these young impressionable people to lie and how to get away with a crime, and crime is okay, instead of teaching them to uphold the law! I am beyond upset right now, and seeing how my child is in this program at KSU, my child will now be transferred somewhere else. I don't care if it's his first offense and that's why he got off so easy, he is just sorry he got caught, and going by the comments from the last article, he has been doing this sort of thing his whole life, and the KSU chief of police didn't drug test to show trust in their employees. I will be sure to write the president of KSU about this. Maybe if more comments were made on this article to show KSU how upset we are about this, it will force them to get rid of his a--

anonymous Feb 3, 2013 9:31 AM

I wouldnt be too concerned about him teaching our youth. Its the fact that this guy was even hired at Kent State in the first place and was able to rise to the ranks of asst. chief. What does that say about the police department???

anonymous Feb 3, 2013 6:58 AM

"He taught criminology and justice studies classes at KSU during and after his time on the KSU police force". Drugs, a loaded gun in the car, driver stoned behind the wheel(blood also tested positive for marijuana}and in lieu of conviction, a treatment program. What a deal! The Portage County Discount House of Justice, Lowest Sentences, Always! No Plea Deal Refused! Ask the judge for the croonies good ole boy discount. Ask the judge how you can do the crimes, and not do the time. Is KSU going to let a felon teach? Will KSU allow a criminal to teach criminology and justice studies? Lester, What is you go'na do?