Investigation into police will cost Mantua $190 per hour, contract states

Mantua Police Department. Lyndsey Brennan/The Portager

Correction: Because of an editor’s error, an earlier version of this article stated DePiero’s contract excluded cash advances and expenses. In fact, he will be paid these items.

Update: This article has been updated with comments from DePiero.

The Village of Mantua will pay $190 per hour to attorney Dean DePiero for his services investigating allegations against the Mantua police chief and an officer.

Mantua Mayor Linda Clark signed the contract on Oct. 20, accepting DePiero’s rate, which will be billed and paid on a monthly basis. The contract does not specify a maximum price tag or a time frame to complete the work.

DePiero, who is the law director for the City of Aurora, will get cash advances and expenses covered, such as filing fees, court costs, polygraph fees and travel, the contract stipulates.

Either the village or DePiero can terminate his services for any reason, the contract states.

As of Nov. 28, no payments had been made for the investigation.

DePiero said he will do his due diligence while being fair with everybody while determining just what the facts are.

“I don’t know anybody in Mantua,” he said. “I’ve done these types of things before, so I think I’m the right person to do it, and I’m going to do a good job for them, and the chips will fall where they may.”

He said city council asked him to “follow this wherever it goes,” but he said he would work as quickly as possible.

“There’s not a time limit on it, but I understand that being efficient is important,” he said. “I will do my due diligence and determine my findings as efficiently as possible.”

Village council voted Oct. 18 to hire an outside investigator to examine an alleged romantic relationship between Chief Joe Urso and his subordinate, Officer Miranda Brothers.

Relationships between Mantua employees is not against village policy.

In a letter and a formal complaint filed by Council President Tammy Meyer, she referenced allegations of “potential conflicts of interest, wrongdoings, and a lack of transparency.”

She said council’s goal was to ensure the police department is “free from special treatment,” that village representatives and leaders are modeling the integrity they are sworn to, and to show that “misuse of village resources, cronyism, and dishonesty” will not be tolerated.

The complaint did not disclose the source of the allegations or state any facts, instead listing a series of questions related to the chief’s and the officer’s conduct.

Urso said members of the police department would not comment on the investigation.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.