MANSFIELD — Former city police Officer David Minard pleaded guilty Wednesday to bribery.
Minard, a 16-year veteran of the force, could receive up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine at his Aug. 13 sentencing. He accepted money from a drug dealer in exchange for tipping off the dealer about investigations.
Minard’s trial was scheduled to start Tuesday.
“The case was very well done,” said police Chief Dino Sgambellone. “I’m not surprised that it didn’t go to trial.”
METRICH Commander Lt. Ken Coontz handled the investigation.
“It is unfortunate. It’s certainly not representative of our department,” Sgambellone said. “The fact that we were able to identify the conduct and do an investigation should instill a sense of confidence in the community.”
Richland County First Assistant Prosecutor Brent Robinson previously provided details of the case.
“… he had borrowed money from a known drug dealer, then in lieu of payment, he had provided information to that drug dealer about criminal investigations against the drug dealer,” Robinson said. “He accepted a valuable benefit. It corrupted him because he was giving out confidential information about law enforcement investigations of this individual.”
The conduct occurred between Sept. 1 and Feb. 8. The amount of the loan was $1,500.
“The dates are broad because we start with the date of the loan and go all the way through until the loan doesn’t exist anymore,” Robinson said.
Police received a tip that a separate loan existed with a person who had been involved in the criminal justice system, leading to an internal investigation.
Sgambellone confronted Minard with the information Feb. 8, at which time Minard resigned.
Since June 2010, Minard had been a K-9 officer, partnered with a German shepherd named Tyson. The dog has been reassigned to Officer Sara Mosier.