LORAIN — A Lorain city worker has lost his job and is facing criminal charges after he was arrested in a city-owned truck with heroin he allegedly purchased on city time.
Lorain police also reported that they found Morgan Minnich’s drug “kit” of a metal spoon, a syringe and a length of rope in his city locker during the arrest June 26.
Lorain police Sgt. Tom Nimon wrote in his report that he began investigating Minnich, 30, in June after learning he might be purchasing heroin while working for the city’s Street Department.
Nimon wrote that he initially tried to follow Minnich on June 25, but lost the city-owned dump truck he was driving.
The next day, Nimon followed Minnich to an Elyria Township home where a suspected heroin dealer lives. Nimon wrote that he watched Minnich walk to the front door of the house and after 30 seconds head back to the truck he was driving that day.
Minnich drove directly back to the city’s service garage, where officers confronted him. Minnich acknowledged he had a small bag of heroin in his pocket, Nimon wrote, adding that he had spotted police following him. He also directed officers to his locker where they found the drug paraphernalia.
“He added the heroin was left for him under the mat as it is every day and that he needs the drug so he doesn’t get sick,” Nimon wrote.
Minnich later told police that he pays the drug dealer — whom court records don’t show as having been charged in the case — between $800 and $900 every two weeks for heroin that he picks up daily.
After picking up the drugs, Minnich told police, he normally returned to work and went directly into the bathroom to shoot up.
Lorain Safety Service Director Robert Fowler said Minnich was immediately placed on leave without pay and subsequently fired. He said Minnich filed a grievance to get paid for the three days before he was on unpaid leave before he was fired, but the city denied that Tuesday.
In a July 3 letter to Minnich informing him of his termination, Fowler wrote that his behavior was “unacceptable.”
“You have put the city of Lorain at risk with your actions and in addition you had no regard for the safety of yourself and others,” Fowler wrote.
Fowler said Minnich was fired for violating the city’s substance abuse guidelines.
“Unfortunately, this is something that affects a cross-section of our world, and it’s not reflective of all the employees here,” he said.
Minnich was charged with possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug abuse instruments in Lorain Municipal Court, but the case has since been forwarded to a county grand jury for consideration.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.