Columbus police announced formal reprimands for the five officers involved in the arrest of the adult-film actress Stormy Daniels last year at a strip club.
Tom Quinlan, the department’s interim police chief, said all five officers violated the department’s rules of conduct but did not specify which rules they violated, citing the pending civil litigation and a federal criminal investigation of the officers’ conduct.
The vice unit of the department, which was disbanded earlier this year, is under investigation by federal authorities. The investigation was sparked in part from Daniels’s arrest, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, was arrested in July 2018 after police claimed she touched a patron in violation of laws that govern strip clubs in Ohio. Two other women were also charged.
Police sent a team of undercover officers to the Sirens strip club on July 11, 2018, while Daniels was in the middle of a highly publicized legal feud with Trump and his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to void a hush money agreement she says she signed during the 2016 presidential election.
The city’s prosecutor, Zach Klein, quickly dismissed the charges against Daniels and the other women after finding that they were not warranted.
Daniels filed a federal defamation suit in January seeking $2 million that alleged that officers were retaliating against her for embarrassing the president. That lawsuit is still active.
The police department’s review found the arrests to be improper but that they weren’t politically motivated.
The Friends of Police Capital City Lodge #9, the union that represents the majority of Columbus officers, did not immediately return a request for comment.
Quinlan said the five officers’ punishments had yet to be determined but could include suspensions, demotions or terminations.