Blue Not Backing Recent Graduate of CPD Academy
In 2021, when I switched from Squarespace to Wix, several of my reports were lost in the shuffle. This is one of them a follower of The Sussi Report asked me to repost.
On July 14, 2021, just two days before Aimee Ortega was sworn in as a Columbus Division of Police officer, the former bartender showed up late to the academy with "messy hair smelling of alcohol."
You could dismiss it as a one-time miscue, an early celebration if you will, but according to CPD records, it isn't. Three times during the 30-week academy, Ortega showed up late to class, twice smelling of alcohol, prompting her supervisors to administer a breathalyzer test on one occasion.
"Ridiculous," said a CPD detective who wishes to remain anonymous. "She should have been kicked out of the academy. I can't believe they let her graduate. If it had been a white male, gone. (Columbus Mayor Andrew) Ginther needs her for her diversity police. She is protected because she is a colored female. Pain and simple."
"I would have kicked her ass out," said a CPD officer. "If you publish something about it, you may lose CPD support due to airing dirty laundry."
This "dirty laundry" needs to be exposed. "I can't say anything bad about a cop," said a CPD sergeant. "If you are doing what you are supposed to, then this officer should be defended. But if you're not, I'm not against bad cops in the spotlight."
The spotlight first shined on Ortega on April 5, 2021, when she contacted one of the academy's training officials and said she set the alarm on her boyfriend's clock, unaware he had turned it off. Recruits are supposed to arrive at 7 a.m. sharp. Ortega, according to reports, turned up at 8 a.m.
Two weeks later, on April 19, 2021, Ortega failed to appear at roll call, and after four attempts to reach her by phone, two officers drove to Ortega's home in Pickerington.
According to the report, one of the officers said that when they arrived at Ortega's house around 8 a.m., "I had to knock on the front door several times before Ortega came to the door. It was obvious that I had woken her up." Ortega told the officers that her cell phone alarm clock didn't ring.
Ortega dressed and accompanied the officers to the academy. The report states that Ortega "smelled slightly of alcoholic beverage but that there was not a reasonable number of indicators that she (Ortega) was intoxicated." Ortega's supervisors canceled her firearms training for the day.
Back to July 14, 2021.
When Ortega failed to show up for the 7 a.m. roll call, a training officer called the AWOL recruit and informed Ortega that she had to get ready and go to work immediately. The officer noted that Ortega appeared to be "laughing or crying."
Records show Ortega showed up at 7:51 a.m. with "messy hair and a moderate smell of alcoholic beverage emanating from her person." Ortega admitted that she had drank an Elvis Juice beer and half a bottle of wine the day before. Ortega told her supervisors that she quit drinking around 10 p.m.
Ortega told her supervisors that her cell phone alarm went off around 4 a.m., but she fell asleep. The report states, "Ortega looked tired, her hair loosely pulled back in a bun, and she kept repeating how much she must have been drinking the night before." In the report, a sergeant said, "I believe she was under the influence."
According to the report, Ortega's supervisors ordered her to take a portable breathalyzer. The report states that "she got extremely nervous" and said, "I won't pass it. I drank half a bottle of wine. A large bottle. I will not pass it."
At around 8:10 a.m., Commander Nick Konves administered the PBT to Ortega, which detonated a .064. Impaired driving in Ohio is over 0.080, and according to the city's contract with the Fraternal Order of Police, officers who test 0.040 and above are discharged home.
Ortega was transported to Work Health on West 3rd Avenue in Grandview, where she underwent two more blood alcohol tests. One test registered 0.041, the other 0.033. CPD officers drove Ortega home, and supervisors ordered Ortega to contact the Employee Assistance Program. According to the report, Ortega's supervisors reported her ill for the remainder of her workday.
The report shows that Ortega broke the Division 1.14 (A) rule of conduct to report for work. Division personnel must report and remain on duty at the time and place required by their assignment or as ordered.
Surprisingly, the report states that Ortega did not violate ROC 1.42 (A) Alcohol / Drugs divisions. Division personnel must not be under the influence of intoxicants or illicit drugs / illegal drugs while on duty or wearing any part of their uniform.
The decision was based on Ortega's second breathalyzer test administered to Work Health was 0.033. A retired CPD deputy chief said, "Of course, this has happened because, over time, the alcohol level continues to drop. It looks like the city's testing expert takes precedence over the academy, which would be problematic for any further charges."
Deputy Chief Richard Bash recommended that Ortega be subject to ministerial fees that could have resulted in suspension or dismissal. Deputy Chief LaShanna Potts disagreed and suggested that Ortega remains in the academy, receive a written reprimand, and continue with the Employee Assistance Program. Chief Elaine Bryant sided with AC Potts.
So, on July 16, A2021, Aimee Ortega, a former bartender and graduate of Reynoldsburg High School, graduated from the 135th class of recruits. Recruit Ortega is now Officer Ortega.
"My personal opinion," said the retired CPD deputy chief, "that if she has these problems in the academy, she will have worse problems once she is on the streets. This is bad news".