MAUMEE, Ohio — A Maumee police sergeant who was placed on leave last week after WTOL 11 reported his ties to the Oath Keepers has received commendations during his career, but has also been suspended at least three times in recent years.
WTOL 11 obtained Sergeant Greg Westrick's personnel file through a public-records request with the city. Most recently, it appears Police Chief Josh Sprow approved a suspension for Westrick last week for his actions during a January vehicle pursuit, which occurred less than six months after he was promoted to sergeant.
RELATED: What is the Oath Keepers group?
According to documents, Westrick led a pursuit Jan. 17 following a "minor traffic offense." He eventually ended the pursuit, but gave "conflicting direction" and permitted three Maumee officers to participate in the chase outside the city limits for a minor traffic offense.
The department determined Westrick failed to direct an operation within policy guidelines. He was suspended for five days after a hearing in July regarding the incident, and ordered to complete a training program on police pursuits and policy.
Chief Sprow's signature appears on a document approving the suspension dated Sept. 8 - the same day WTOL 11 first published a story regarding Westrick's involvement with the Oath Keepers.
Also in July, Westrick was involved in a minor property damage incident and reprimanded for causing damage to his police vehicle. He was also reprimanded for damage to a police vehicle in 2018.
In February 2021, Westrick received a one-day suspension for posting a picture to his Facebook page while providing security during the funeral of Toledo Police Officer Brandon Stalker on Jan. 26.
According to a letter written by then-Maumee Police Chief David Tullis, Westrick was assigned to Savage Arena at the University of Toledo to watch for potential threats or suspicious activity. A Maumee sergeant filed a complaint after Westrick took a picture from his assigned post and published it on his page along with a printed satellite image of the arena, an infraction the chief described as "most disturbing."
Westrick was issued a one-day suspension and ordered to complete social-media training.
"Greg you need to realize that your position on the Maumee Police Division and on the Special Response Unit requires completed trust, discipline and professionalism," Chief Tullis wrote in the letter. "When you violate established rules, laws, orders, people can get hurt. Your actions were unacceptable and could have compromised the protection detail. I believe this wasn't you (sic) intention when you posted the photo, but that cannot be taken into account. With your experience and tenue (sic) on the SRU team, you should have realized your actions could have had negative consequences."
Westrick was also suspended in 2014 for posting photos to social media without proper consent.
Documents show he responded to a car fire at Charlie's Dodge. Tullis, who was a lieutenant at the time, issued a letter to Westrick reprimanding him for posting photos of the fire to his Facebook page, allowing a "crime scene to be viewed for public consumption while the fire was still under investigation."
Records show Westrick was given a three-day suspension with two days held in abeyance. He was also stripped of his duties as firearms instructor.
Westrick's personnel file also contains mentions of positive work experiences and achievements, including being named officer of the year in 2008.
There are several "thank yous" and "job-well-dones," including a letter he received from a citizen for taking care of them and their dogs after they were injured in an accident. He was also applauded in 2017 by the department for his role in resolving a situation involving a suicidal person armed with a gun.
Last week, WTOL 11 reported Westrick has strong ties and offered to provide support to far-right extremist organization the Oath Keepers, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Anti-Defamation League based on leaked membership rolls.
Westrick was promoted to sergeant in August 2021 and has worked for more than 20 years in the department. His name and other personal information appear on a data dump released by non-profit journalism group Distributed Denial of Secrets in September, 2021.
The Anti-Defamation League sifted through the 38,000 names on the list who paid for a membership at some point and published a report Tuesday. The report states over 600 members nationwide work as law enforcement officers, first responders, military members and elected officials.
According to DDS documents, Westrick wrote "I am interested in local rallies. As far as talents, I am a trained gunsmith and certifed (sic) armored on a few weapon systems. But I also have computer skills for above average web applications."
On that same document, Westrick listed the Maumee police station as his address.
Shortly after WTOL 11's report, Sprow sent the following statement:
"The city of Maumee was provided information related to one of our police officers. We are in the process of investigating this matter. We have policies and procedures in place that we will follow as to our investigation."
On Friday, Mayor Rich Carr announced Westrick was placed on administrative leave. On Monday, Chief Sprow said in a statement the investigation will determine if a law or policy was broken.
The Oath Keepers are an anti-government extremist group associated with the militia movement. They were among the groups who participated in the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol riots.
The FBI defines the Oath Keepers as a "large but loosely organized collection of militia who believe that the federal government has been coopted by a shadowy conspiracy that is trying to strip American citizens of their rights."
Oath Keepers membership is not illegal. An individual's inclusion in the database is not proof of active membership.
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