Sheriff’s major demoted after ‘inappropriate’ comments

A Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office major who said a corrections officer could “go back to his thug life” was demoted and removed as commander of the Montgomery County Jail division, according to a Wednesday press release.

The demotion of Maj. Scott Landis comes after an internal investigation reported on by this news organization “documented inappropriate and unprofessional comments he made during a meeting involving jail staff,” according to the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

Landis’ demotion also was a result of “his unsatisfactory work performance as the commander of the jail division,” the statement said. Landis was demoted from chief deputy to major in January 2013.

The sheriff’s office statement also said Capt. Matt Haines has been promoted to the rank of major and will be assigned as commander of the jail division. The release did not say what rank Landis was demoted to, and no further comment was made available.

Landis was found to have used the terms “thug life,” “Little Hitler” and being “lynched” in an April 20 jail supervisors’ meeting. Landis also did not notify his supervisors of a serious complaint amid allegations that a proper investigation was not done.

A 74-page internal investigation determined that those and other terms were not used in a racially motivated way and that Landis did not place a “bounty” on a corrections officer.

The report signed by Sgt. David Parin determined that allegations of racism were listed as either “unfounded” or that there was “insufficient evidence” to find that Landis further violated professional rules of conduct.

The complaint against Landis was made by Sgt. Eric Banks and corrections officer Jerrid Campbell. During the meeting, Landis showed staff a memo about disparaging things Campbell said about working in the jail.

The complaint states that Landis allegedly said of Campbell, “If he doesn’t want to work here, he can go back to his thug life! I don’t care, but he won’t quit, so I guess I am gonna have to do it for him.”

“His demeanor, and his actions, to me resembled a bully,” Landis told investigators. “And that is what I call a bully.

“The term, that does not have a color to me. That doesn’t have a race, or anything.”

Landis began at the sheriff’s office as a corrections officer assigned to the county jail in 1989. He was promoted to deputy in 1994 and became a detective in 1999, according to the sheriff’s website. Landis was promoted to sergeant in 2005 and major in 2009.

Haines began in law enforcement in 1995 as a reserve deputy with the sheriff’s office and in 1996 worked in Trotwood, according to the sheriff’s website.

After stints as a full-time Trotwood officer and member of the special response team, the Miamisburg High School graduate returned to the sheriff’s office in 2002 as a deputy sheriff.

Haines worked in road patrol, field training, on the hostage negotiation team, was promoted to sergeant, worked as a dispatch supervisor and was promoted to captain in 2002.

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