08:26 GMT25 November 2020
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    Veteran Officers Steven Rosser and Whitney Lancaster, of the vice unit within Ohio’s Columbus Police Department, were fired from their stations Thursday over their handling of the July 2018 arrest of adult film actress Stormy Daniels.

    In addition to the duo, Columbus Public Safety Director Ned Pettus also signed and dotted suspension orders for veteran officials Lt. Ronald Kemmerling and Sgt. Scott Soha as a result of their failure to adequately supervise the vice operation. The suspensions amounted to periods of six weeks and three weeks, respectively.

    According to local news station ABC 6, documents from Pettus stated that both Rosser and Lancaster’s actions largely deviated from past arrests conducted at other strip clubs that the pair investigated and that they had violated division directives. Additionally, documents viewed by the station pointed out that Rosser had lied to internal investigators regarding an underage dancer at the club.

    "Not a single other suspect was deprived of their rights by being arrested 'on view' and taken to the Franklin County Jail for slating, except Ms. Clifford demonstrating gross neglect of duty and incompetence," reads the declaration.

    All four individuals have 10 days to appeal the ruling, which Keith Ferrell, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Capital City Lodge No. 9, the union that represents the group, told the Columbus Dispatch they intend to do. “We do not think the discipline is warranted to that level,” he said. 

    At the time of the arrest, Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was performing at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club in Columbus, Ohio, on July 12, 2018. Police later indicated that the established actress was handcuffed and transported to the Franklin County Jail for touching three undercover Columbus vice cops in an illegal, sexually-orientated manner.

    ​However, the three charges of inappropriately touching a patron were dropped several hours later after prosecutors noted that the Ohio law cited for the arrest only applied to employees who are regular performers at an establishment. Daniels was only booked at the club as a guest appearance.

    Months after the arrest, Daniels, filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the department, claiming that her arrest was politically motivated by the fact that she was using her alleged 2006 affair with now-US President Donald Trump to promote her nationwide tour. The lawsuit was eventually settled for $450,000, and the vice unit was disbanded after an internal probe was concluded.


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