Five Columbus, Ohio, police officers face disciplinary measures in connection with the July 2018 arrest of Stormy Daniels at a local club, police said Wednesday.
“Chief Tom Quinlan made this decision because these officers violated the Columbus Division of Police rules of conduct,” police said in a news release without specifying the violations or naming the officers, all members of the now disbanded vice section.
The officers may face a reprimand, suspension, demotion or termination, the release said. Quinlan will make a recommendation, and the director of public safety will make the final decision based on that.
Police charged Daniels with three misdemeanor counts of illegally touching a patron at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club. She was detained for 12 hours, posted $6,054 bail and was released.
The charges were dropped because the law did not apply to her as she was a guest performer and did not regularly appear at the club, the Columbus city attorney said at the time.
Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford, in January filed a suit against several members of the police department, seeking more than $1 million in compensatory damages and more than $1 million in punitive damages and costs and fees associated with the case.
The lawsuit alleges that the officers targeted her because they were “avowed supporters” of President Donald Trump and believed Daniels was “damaging President Trump and they thereafter entered into a conspiracy to arrest her during her performance in Columbus in retaliation for the public statements she had made” about Trump.
Daniels is claiming false arrest, malicious prosecution, conspiracy to violate the Fourth and 14th amendments and abuses of process violating Ohio law. An amended complaint in June added the city as a defendant, claiming Columbus violated Daniels’ constitutional rights.
The department said it won’t give out any more information because of pending litigation and a federal criminal investigation.