Steubenville, Ohio

Corrupt Police Department

Steubenville, Ohio


Political corruption

Steubenville has had a poor reputation of political corruption. The Department of Justice alleged that the city and the police force had subjected numerous individuals to "excessive force, false arrests, charges, and reports" and had engaged in practices regarding "improper stops, searches, and seizures." The report from the Department also states that excessive force was levied against individuals who witnessed incidents of police misconduct, and against those who were known critics of the city and its police force. Those individuals were also falsely detained if the city and the police agreed that they were "likely to complain of abuse." It also stated that the officers involved also falsified reports and tampered with official police recorders so that "misconduct would not be recorded."

Over a period of 20 years the city lost, or settled out of court, 48 civil rights lawsuits involving its police force. The city paid out more than $800,000, $400,000 of which was between 1990 and 1996. As a result the city's police force earned the dubious distinction of being the second city in the nation to sign a consent decree with the federal government due to an excessive number of civil rights lawsuits. The decree signed on September 4, 1997 under the "pattern or practice" provision. Under this agreement, the city agreed to improve the training of its police officers, implement new guidelines and procedures, establish an internal affairs unit, and establish an "early warning system."

Speed cameras

The speed camera program began in 2005 and netted the city $600,000 in revenues; nearly 7,000 tickets at $85 each were issued during that timespan. In March 2006, the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas ruled that the city ordinance of giving support to the speed camera program was illegal and unconstitutional. The city refused to remove the cameras, however, because it stated it was "bound by contract to continue the services" of Traffipax, Inc., the US subsidiary of ROBOT Visual Systems, a German corporation. Despite attempts to remove the cameras, the city continued to defy the judge's order and reinstated an identical ordinance to continue issuing citations. Councilman at Large Michael Hernon cast the sole dissenting vote re-instating the traffic cameras.

In mid-2006, Attorney Gary Stern filed a class-action lawsuit against the city of Steubenville for illegally collecting fines and generating unnecessary revenue from motorists. He won the case in December 2005 and the city was forced to refund thousands of tickets totaling $258,000. City Gary Stern also gathered enough signatures from the residents of the city to put forth a referendum that posed the question of whether the city's ordinance authorizing the speed camera program should continue. On November 8, 2006, the voters of Steubenville voted to end the city's speed camera program with a 76.2 percent majority.

On May 4, 2007, Attorney Stern asked the Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge to hold Steubenville in contempt of court for failing to mail out $7,947 in owed refunds stemming from the lawsuit filed in mid-2006. Stern stated that the city has held possession of the money owed for nine months, an unreasonable amount of time, and that the city should be charged interest for the money held. The checks, which were mailed out on August 3, 2006, were returned due to incorrect addresses listed. On March 30, Stern sent a letter to the city listing the people who had not been reimbursed for the traffic camera violations, which featured the amount of money owed; the addresses were updated, however, the city did not respond. A similar letter was sent April 11, however, the city failed to reply again

Tracy Lords

Porn star Tracy Lords is from Steubenville, Ohio. So is movie star Dean Martin.

Italian Community

I was told there was a large Italian community in Steubenville, Ohio by a resident of the city. I also am told that a number of Italian Mafia members left New York City to come to Steubenville, Ohio.

Dino Vicente Cellini ... During this era, many cigar stores in Steubenville were fronts for mob rackets; bookmaking, numbers, pool, illegal drinking, and gambling rackets.

Dean Martin (Dino Crocetti) grew up in Steubenville which was known for its gambling and prostitution. A white-slavery ring that kidnapped beautiful woman for whorehouses was headquartered in Steubenville. James Vincent Tripodi of the Mafia ran Steubenville. A popular saying in Steubenville among the youth was ‘Learn to steal, learn to deal, or go to the mill.’

The book - Steubenville (Images of America) by Sandy Day.

Named after a Prussian officer who aided America during the Revolution, Fort Steuben was constructed in 1786 to protect government surveyors of the Old Northwest Territory. In 1797, Steubenville, one of the earliest settlements in Ohio, was founded and named after the fort. Located on the Ohio River, the town became a hub of transportation, bringing in settlers and industry. By the 20th century, Steubenville had become a center for steel production and coal mining.


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