A Reynoldsburg police officer who was involved in a departmental affairs investigation that led to the resignation of former police chief Dave Suciu is appealing his punishment to an arbitrator, according to Mayor Brad McCloud.

A Reynoldsburg police officer who was involved in a departmental affairs investigation that led to the resignation of former police chief Dave Suciu is appealing his punishment to an arbitrator, according to Mayor Brad McCloud.

On July 6, McCloud issued a written reprimand and ordered officer Dan Downing to serve a suspension of three consecutive days without pay.

The discipline was in line with a recommendation by special investigator David Sturtz, who looked into the conduct of Suciu and Downing in connection with a Dec. 28, 2011, incident involving a woman who was arrested by Pickerington police for carrying an unauthorized weapon in a motor vehicle.

According to Sturtz's report, the woman was in a relationship with Downing and had sent him text messages indicating she had a gun and was threatening suicide.

Reynoldsburg police used OnStar satellite tracking without a warrant to follow the woman. Sturtz's report said Pickerington police stopped her vehicle shortly after midnight Dec. 28 for a traffic violation after she exited I-70 onto state Route 256.

That's when Pickerington police learned that Reynoldsburg police had been tracking her.

According to the report, the Pickerington officers knew nothing about her relationship with the Reynoldsburg officer, nor did they know she might have been armed. The gun was found under the seat of the woman's car.

"This just wasn't an isolated indiscretion; it impacted two different police departments," McCloud said. "It wasn't just a matter of having an extramarital affair' it was an extramarital affair with someone who had a real credible threat to other officers."

Downing and his attorney did not respond to an email seeking comment.

City attorney Jed Hood said according to the FOP contract, both the city and the officer must agree on an arbitrator from a panel of seven provided through Arbitration Mediation Services. The arbitrator's decision may be appealed by both sides in the courts, he said.

Suciu retired June 1 after Sturtz's report criticized him for failing to show leadership and withholding information from McCloud about Downing's role in the case. He was placed on paid administrative leave Feb. 9.

Lt. Jim O'Neill has been serving as acting police chief after interim Chief Lt. Scott McKinley retired May 1 to accept a position with the U.S. Coast Guard.

O'Neill is one of seven candidates being considered for the chief's job, which McCloud hopes to fill by October.