Police officers violated 'rules of conduct' in Stormy Daniels strip club arrest
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The Columbus, Ohio, police department announced Wednesday it has reprimanded five officers for violating its “rules of conduct” in connection with the 2018 arrest of adult-film star Stormy Daniels. 

The police department said the five officers, who were with the now-disbanded VICE unit, were “departmentally charged” over the arrest, which took place at Sirens Gentleman’s Club in July of last year.

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“Chief Tom Quinlan made this decision because these officers violated the Columbus Division of Police rules of conduct,” the police said in a press release without specifying the violations.

The department did not name the officers, but said they include a commander, a lieutenant, a sergeant and two of the arresting officers. The range of punishments can include a reprimand, a suspension, demotion and/or termination. 

Quinlan will make a recommendation on punishment based on hearings with each officer, after which the director of public safety will make an ultimate decision. However, if the discipline is a reprimand, then Quinlan’s decision is final.

The department said Wednesday it will not provide any more information regarding the case because of pending litigation and a federal criminal investigation. 

Daniels was arrested while performing at the strip club on charges that she inappropriately touched a patron.

The charges were dropped after prosecutors said the law cited in her arrest only applied to regular performers. Undercover officers had been at the club to investigate illegal activity unrelated to Daniels, including human trafficking, underage drinking and drug dealing. 

Daniels sued the Columbus police officers for $2 million in January, alleging the arrest was politically motivated. The Columbus Police Department said at the time that while the arrest was improper, it was not spurred by the political views of any of the officers. 

Daniels shot to national prominence after she became entangled in a legal fight with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE and his lawyers over a 2016 hush money payment surrounding an alleged extramarital affair she had with Trump in 2006.