COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A Columbus Division of Police Officer is charged with dereliction of duty after an internal review of the Special Victims Unit.
During a news conference, Wednesday, Columbus Division of Police Interim Chief Thomas Quinlan announced Detective Amy Welsh, a 24-year veteran with the department, is facing three counts of dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Quinlan stated that one case involved a kidnapping investigation. Welsh inactivated the case despite having tangible evidence that could have led to a prosecution, according to Quinlan.
According to court documents, the kidnapping case centered around a car that was stolen from a Rally’s parking lot at 1940 East Broad Street. An employee said he went inside the restaurant to get his work schedule and left his two kids inside the car. The car was stolen with the children inside.
The children were eventually found a couple blocks from the restaurant.
Welsh obtained surveillance video of the incident, but inactivated the case due to a lack of evidence before ever watching it, according to court documents.
Another case was a sexual assault investigation where Welsh failed to submit a lab request for a sexual assault exam kit, and a failure to act on a CODIS hit which may have led to an identification and apprehension of a person of interest.
Quinlan stated Welsh has been relieved of duty and could face termimation.
Quinlan made the announcement during a news conference about a new conviction integrity review process within the division as well as the investigation into the now abolished Vice Unit.
City Attorney Klein issued the following statement in regards to the Welsh investigation:
“First and foremost, I want to emphasize that nearly all the men and women of the Columbus Police Division serve our city and its residents with honor and integrity. Every day, they put their lives on the line to uphold their sworn duty to protect us, most often with little to no fanfare. However, when our office is provided evidence of misconduct, we will work with the Columbus Police Division to hold those individuals within their ranks accountable. While our office will prosecute the dereliction of duty charges the Division filed against Detective Welsh, we also want to ensure that justice is served in these and possibly other cases she may have neglected. As such, we will work with the Division and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office to audit her cases to fully assess what other investigations may need to be addressed.”
In March, it was announced the Vice Unit was being abolished following two high profile cases caused an internal review.
One was the arrest of Stormy Daniels.
Vice officers cuffed Daniels where she was performing at a north Columbus strip club.
The department later dropped charges against Daniels.
The other was case was the death of 23-year-old Donna Castleberry, who was shot and killed by a Vice Unit officer during an undercover prostitution sting operation.