Mayor Right To Fire Officer

If an ex-Steubenville police officer is guilty of the accusations against him, Mayor and acting City Manager Domenick Mucci was absolutely right in firing him. Conduct such as that alleged probably would have landed a civilian in jail.

Mucci dismissed Patrolman Greg Moray last week, for four violations of the department’s rules of conduct.

Accusations against Moray involve a drinking party that occurred in May in Wintersville. Among those arrested at the party was Moray’s son.

Among allegations against Moray are that he was aware alcohol would be served to juveniles at the party and that he may have attended it. Also, he is accused of going to the Wintersville Police Department on May 31 and pressuring two officers there in a futile attempt to keep his son from being charged. Finally, Moray is accused of insubordination for disobeying a written order not to have contact with witnesses in the case.

Moray apparently has not been charged with any criminal offenses. He has the right to appeal Mucci’s order.

Clearly, however, if Moray is guilty of the allegations, he has no business serving as a police officer. Far from upholding the law, he has been accused of helping juveniles to break it, then attempting to pressure Wintersville police to refrain from charging his son.

The issue of adults covering up for juveniles’ misdeeds came up during the infamous “Steubenville rape” case. A grand jury still is looking into whether adults knew two teenagers had committed the assault for which they were convicted – but did not report it to the authorities.

Another issue connected to the rape case is adults furnishing alcohol to minors, with devastating consequences.

Moray’s job would have made him well aware of the peril of parties at which alcohol is available to juveniles. Yet, according to the city’s allegations, he attended the party his son hosted, then threatened Wintersville officers who broke it up.

That is neither serving nor protecting the public. If Moray did what some officials allege, his firing should be just the beginning of serious consequences for him. Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Jane Hanlin should be looking into the case.