MAYFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio - A veteran police officer is under investigation in a case involving his own son and drugs.
Mayfield Heights Lt. Michael Lanzola has not been charged with a crime, but been placed on paid administrative leave. In addition, an internal police department memo revealed Lanzola is also the subject of an internal affairs investigation by Mayfield Heights police.
According the memo, Lt. Lanzola was placed on paid administrative leave on March 23, 2012 and ordered to surrender his firearm, ammunition and portable radio. The memo also cites a criminal investigation into "suspected illegal activity" at his residence.
The very same day, Lanzola's 20-year-old son, Chad Lanzola, was arrested on drug charges. Police confiscated a cellophane wrapper with marijuana and a metal pipe with marijuana residue during a traffic stop. Chad Lanzola has not been formally charged and the case has been referred to Cuyahoga County prosecutors.
But two months earlier, on Jan. 24, 2012, another police report reveals Chad Lanzola and his father were questioned by Mayfield Heights police concerning drug trafficking charges. That investigation concluded March 22, 2012--one day before Lt. Lanzola was placed on leave and his son arrested.
Meanwhile, Lt. Lanzola is prohibited from entering the police department unless summoned as part of the ongoing investigations.
Records also show Lt. Lanzola was warned in January 2012 about excessive absenteeism for using more than 84 hours of sick time and missing 8 scheduled shifts.
Mayfield Heights Police Chief Joseph Donnelly confirmed the case remains under investigation, but declined to comment.
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