Documents Outline Accusations Against Officers Who Arrested Stormy Daniels
Columbus Police have released documents detailing departmental charges against officers involved with an undercover operation that led to Stormy Daniels' arrest at a strip club last year.
The documents released Thursday contain charges accusing one officer of giving tacit approval of the operation without giving "proper weight to the potential negative consequences." Charges against some officers include not properly supervising subordinates and not ensuring subordinates properly documented the hours they worked.
The documents associated with charges against some officers also indicate the actions taken at the club "deviated significantly" from previous investigations at other strip clubs.
"This arrest was not like any other strip club investigations because in the other strip club investigations, all charges were filed at a later time, or the offender was released on summons," wrote Interim Police Chief Tom Quinlan.
Two of the officers are accused of making an improper arrest of Daniels and of failing to submit accurate timekeeping records, among other charges. The documents also charge that one of those officers didn't follow protocol by interviewing Daniels while she was in the back of a prisoner transport vehicle.
The officers charged include a commander, lieutenant, sergeant and two of the arresting officers, all part of the now-disbanded Vice Unit.
Each officer will have a hearing before Quinlan this month. The department has said the officers could face punishment ranging from a reprimand to firing.
Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested at Sirens in July 2018 on suspicion of inappropriately touching an undercover officer. Prosecutors dropped charges against Daniels hours later, saying the “Community Defense Act” cited in her arrest applied only to those who regularly performed at the club.
An internal investigation into the arrest focused on allegations that officers who support President Donald Trump conspired to retaliate against the porn actress over her claims she had sex with Trump before he was elected. An internal review found the arrest was “improper” but not planned or politically motivated.
Daniels has filed a lawsuit against the department. Chase Mallory, an attorney representing Daniels, said Thursday that he would disagree with any finding "that the arrest wasn't politically motivated or at least motivated by improper reasons."
"From our initial review of the facts, it was clear that Stormy was targeted for a high-profile arrest," he said.
Quinlan disbanded Vice in March. The department recently announced it would replace the unit with the Police And Community Together (PACT) team.