COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — One of the Columbus police officers facing federal drug charges has resigned and Chief Elaine Bryant has recommended that the other be fired.
Bryant filed departmental charges against Marco Merino, 44, and John J. Kotchkoski, 33, according to a spokesperson for the City of Columbus. They were recently arrested by the FBI and charged with crimes connected to fentanyl distribution.
Both officers had hearings before Bryant set for Thursday.
Marco Merino submitted his resignation Monday, effective immediately.
On Friday, Bryant sustained the charges against Kotchkoski and recommended termination. This case now goes to the Safety Director Robert Clark, and that hearing date has not yet been set, the spokesperson said.
Independent of the federal investigation and allegations against Merino and Kotchkoski, there is an investigation underway into allegations of misconduct involving members of the narcotics unit.
This allegation was initiated earlier last month, before the arrests of the two officers.
The commanding officer and executive team over the narcotics unit raised concerns about possible time fraud based on the findings of an internal audit. This investigation is ongoing, the statement concluded.