YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A city police lieutenant who has been on paid administrative leave for more than a year was charged Monday in municipal court with neglect of duty.
Lt. Brian Flynn faces 14 counts of second-degree misdemeanor charges. The dates of the charges range from November 20, 2020, to February 11, 2021.
The charges stem from a failure to follow up on sexual abuse or child pornography cases that Flynn oversaw as head of the department’s Special Victims Unit, which specializes in investigating crimes against children and domestic violence cases.
City Law Director Jeffrey Limbian said the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit had been referring cases to Flynn to investigate — sometimes repeatedly.
“And they were being summarily deleted,” Limbian said. “Our children deserve better than that.”
Authorities say at least one of the cases that Flynn allegedly overlooked — the case of Jason Huffman — was ultimately taken over by federal investigators.
Huffman was arrested in February of 2021 during a raid of his Youngstown home. He eventually pleaded guilty to charges in federal court and was sentenced to 27 years behind bars. At that time, prosecutors said Huffman had been uploading child pornography for years.
“We just can’t let that go,” Limbian said.
Flynn, who makes $78,654.58 annually, has been on paid leave since March 25, 2021. He remains on paid leave for now.
Limbian said the investigation into Flynn’s work took a long time to get started.
“We had a hard time finding somebody to investigate it that wasn’t directly or indirectly involved,” he said.
Ultimately, Summit County Sheriff’s deputies took the case and turned their findings against Flynn over to the City Law Department five or six weeks ago.
Flynn has been with the department since 1998, when he was hired as a patrolman. He was promoted to detective sergeant in 2006 and promoted to lieutenant in 2011.