Jan. 4, 2011

SPD's DeSalle in sticky situation amid tobacco allegation

A Sandusky police officer caught last year with 50 grams of methamphetamine in his locker is now on administrative leave for apparently chewing tobacco on duty and denying it, police said.

Supervisors placed James DeSalle, a 12-year veteran, on paid leave Wednesday and scheduled him for a pre-disciplinary hearing at 2 p.m. Monday.

In question is a Nov. 5 domestic call at an East Shoreway Drive home, where another officer twice saw DeSalle spit a dark-brown substance on the ground while leaving the home.

When supervisors later asked him if he was chewing tobacco, DeSalle denied it and said he was allergic to a cat in the home, police said.

A video camera in DeSalle’s police cruiser recorded footage of him spitting a substance onto the ground, police said.

Confronted with the video, DeSalle denied he’d been chewing tobacco on duty.