I don't know many of the facts, but I often don't let that stop me,
Vicarious liability is a tricky area of law. *Usually*, if an
employee is acting outside the scope of his/her employment, as would
seem to be the case here, the employer is not vicariously liable. The
employee is said to be "on a frolic of thier own", in quaint legal
terminology. OTOH, if an employer is aware, or should be aware, of
the conduct of the employee, and doesn nothing to prevent it, the
employer can be held vicariously liable.
I am liable to get a vicarious thrill out of this frolic
Chief indicted in paddling case
By RON SELAK JR. Tribune Chronicle
WARREN - Less than a week after Fowler police Chief James E. Martin
testified before a grand jury, that grand jury handed up a 52-count
indictment involving the officer's diversion program where teens and
adults were spanked with a wooden paddle.
Martin pleaded innocent Wednesday morning to the charges contained in
the 28-page indictment, which details how Martin, who also is a captain
in the Howland Police Department, involved eight juveniles and four
adults in his diversion program that used corporal punishment.
Martin is charged with 20 counts of dereliction of duty, 11 counts of
assault, 12 counts of using a sham legal process, seven counts of
unauthorized photography - all misdemeanor charges, and two counts of
theft in office, both felonies.
He is free on a $2,500 personal bond. The first pretrial hearing is set
for May 25. The case has been assigned to Common Pleas Judge Andrew
Martin has been on unpaid leave since March 29 by both Fowler and
Federal authorities approached officials in Howland and Fowler,
informing them of possible corporal punishment and civil rights
violations involving the diversion program Martin once operated in
Howland and apparently reorganized when he became Fowler chief seven
According to the indictment, Martin referred eight juveniles stopped for
traffic offenses in Howland and Fowler to his diversion program,
repeatedly struck their buttocks with a wooden paddle and made videos of
the paddling session, which were kept at his home and not at the Police
Prosecutors allege that Martin also created ''sham'' documents that
appeared to be lawful and were issued to exercise authority or
jurisdiction over the participants in the juvenile diversion program.
The probation orders and Alternative Sentencing Juvenile Information
reports were created by using Martin's home computer, the indictment
Martin also is accused of failing to file traffic citations given by
himself or other Howland or Fowler officers in juvenile court, the
indictment states. Instead of issuing the citation, the juvenile was
enlisted in Martin's diversion program.
On one occasion, Martin was working in Howland investigating a domestic
violence/unruly child complaint. The indictment states that after
responding to the call, Martin took no police action but referred the
juvenile to the program. The juvenile was paddled about three times by
Martin, the indictment states.
Four adults were also enlisted into the diversion program, the
indictment states, one of whom was paddled 70 times. The adults were
enlisted into a pretrial diversion program. He is accused of operating
the program without the involvement of a prosecutor or judge, the
One of the adults was referred to the program after Martin determined he
was a suspect in a theft complaint.
Martin is also accused of creating sham documents for the adults
enrolled in the diversion program and failing to file traffic citations
Two charges of theft in office - the only two felony counts - accuse
Martin of, on March 26, removing public records, including police files,
videotapes and physical evidence from the department and keeping the
material in his basement and other public records pertaining to the
Howland Diversion Program from 1975-1992.
A Trumbull County grand jury secretly indicted Martin earlier this week.
Secrets indictments are to remain closed until the defendant is served.
Martin was served Wednesday before appearing before Common Pleas Judge
John M. Stuard.
''Some secret indictment, huh,?'' Martin's attorney, Dominic Vitantonio,
said as he entered the courtroom to several waiting members of the
Vitantonio declined to comment on the indictment, saying he needed to
review the document. He did not return a message seeking comment later
in the day.
He did say that he wasn't surprised by the indictment and that Martin is
maintaining his innocence. Vitantonio has said that the spankings were
properly administered and that the parents agreed to the condition of
the diversion program.
An attorney who represents five of the teens has filed three federal
lawsuits, claiming certain civil rights violations, in connection to the
Love that "unauthorized photography" charge. It's probably all that will happen
to Rummy's Dummies.