CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A Cincinnati police officer was sentenced to five years federal probation this week after pleading guilty last year to three felony counts of filing false income tax returns.
Quiana Campbell, 40, was paid the cash for working off-duty details at various city nightclubs between 2015 and 2017, according to her plea agreement with the United States Attorney’s Office.
Campbell was also indicted on charges of lying to federal agents but those charges were dismissed as part of her guilty plea.
As part of her agreement, she must pay $23,742.64 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service minus $6,000 in taxes she has already paid.
She initially declined comment but then provided the following one to FOX19 NOW:
“I look forward to the day when I’m able to speak my truth on the narrative of this investigation and the officers involved. I am thankful for the support I’ve received from family, friends, and the Sentinel Police Association and the community.”
Her defense attorney requested Campbell receive a lighter sentence of two years probation, noting that she lost her job at the Cincinnati Police Department after serving the community for 12 years and “has been punished already, in many significant, lasting, and harsh ways.”
“As reflected in the many character letters written by family, friends, and colleagues (filed under seal), Quiana Campbell is a caring, hardworking, community-minded person,” assistant federal public defender Karen Savir wrote in an April 3 sentencing memorandum to U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett.
“She showed poor judgment in failing to report her cash earnings from off-duty details on three tax returns, but her lapse in judgment in that regard should not overshadow her admirable personal characteristics or her history of public service.”
“Over the course of her 12-year career with the Cincinnati Police Department, Ms. Campbell was utterly dedicated to helping others and keeping the community safe,” her sentencing memo continues.
“Whether she was working as a patrol office in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, a patrol officer in District Five, a liaison neighborhood unit officer in District Four or at the Police Impound Lot, Ms. Campbell treated all people fairly and with respect, no matter their circumstances. She knows what it is like to come from (and overcome) difficult circumstances. Ms. Campbell was raised in Section 8 housing, in a neighborhood where it was “not uncommon” for racial slurs to be used against her.
“She knows what it’s like to struggle as a child and to be placed in harm’s way because those who should have provided protection did not. So, when she joined the police force in 2008, she brought a deep-seated desire to improve struggling neighborhoods like the one where she grew up, to provide protection to the vulnerable, and she desperately wanted to help improve the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community in Cincinnati,” the memo states.
“She approached each shift knowing that she had the power to help bridge the growing divide between officers and civilians along racial lines, and she policed with that purpose. As noted in (the presentencing report) and the letters of support, Ms. Campbell’s performance, aptitude, and attitude on the police force did not go unnoticed by her peers and supervisors. She received commendations for her bravery and service, to include a 2017 Honorable Mention for Bravery and Valor.”
Her defense attorney also wrote that “Ms. Campbell loved her job and was proud to be a member of the Cincinnati Police Department. The only aspect of her life that made her prouder and happier than her work as a police officer was being a mom.
“Ms. Campbell has two daughters, a 17-year-old and an 8-yearold, and the girls are her raison d’etre (reason or justification for existence). It was for their benefit that she worked off-duty details to supplement the appx. $50,000 salary she received for her full-time job as a police officer.
“Ms. Campbell dreaded being away from her girls to work overtime or off-duty details, knowing that they would be home without her to care for them. But there were bills to pay, and she was determined to give them a stable home, with working appliances, and food at the ready. Unlike many defendants who appear before the Court for fraud offenses, Ms. Campbell did not have, did not accrue, and did not seek out extravagant possessions. She lives with her two girls in a $120,000 house, with a $100,000 mortgage, and she drives a 2014 Chevy, worth less than $6,000.
“She is neither greedy nor self-indulgent and is singularly focused on providing a better life for her girls than she had at their age. Seeking to better understand what led her here, and to ensure she can set an example of redemption and forgiveness for her children, Ms. Campbell has engaged in her own rehabilitation over the past two-years through individual therapy and self-reflection— learning, atoning, rebuilding.”
“To be clear, Ms. Campbell makes no excuses for her crime. She is deeply ashamed of her conduct and has done what she can to try to make amends. ... Ms. Campbell took responsibility for her offense conduct by admitting to filing false tax returns in an interview in 2018, pre-indictment, with no post hoc justification or minimization. In an effort to pay restitution to the IRS as soon as possible, she cashed out her retirement savings, filed amended tax returns for 2015-17, and submitted three subsequent payments to the IRS, totaling $17,490.86, almost half the total amount owed with penalties and interest.”
Campbell’s public defender notes that “Campbell has been punished already, in many significant, lasting, and harsh ways. She lost her job, her livelihood, the savings she had been building for her children, and her status in the world. Now, as a convicted felon, she will not be able to work as a police officer again, and her job opportunities are limited.
“In 2019, she filed for bankruptcy, and she now works the graveyard shift as a ‘materials handler’ in a warehouse (from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) for $14.50/hour. Certainly, general deterrence is also satisfied with a sentence of probation in light of the consequences Ms. Campbell has already suffered (and will continue to suffer) for failing to report her cash earnings.”
Campbell came to the attention of federal officials as part of a money laundering and drug trafficking investigation into local nightclubs who may have been “tipped off” about raids and possibly protected by “members of the Cincinnati Police Department,” according to court records unsealed earlier this year.
Investigators initially said they found text messages from January 2015 in which a nightclub owner texted Campbell to ask about a specific person who had visited the club.
“She’s an officer….” Campbell wrote back, federal court records state. She also discussed possible reasons police would be investigating the club, writing: “They work on random nights and go into different bars. If they come back again next weekend, I would say yes.”
When federal agents questioned Campbell about the text conversation, they said she lied to them. Campbell told the agents she would never confirm if an individual was a police officer because if they were working in an undercover capacity, it would put them in danger.
According to her personnel file, Campbell spent the last few years of her career at CPD on desk duty. She lost her police powers in November 2018, when she was stripped of her gun and badge.
At the time, she was working in the police impound lot.
She became a Cincinnati police officer in December 2008 and worked in Districts 1 and 5 and then was transferred to District four, where she connected with the community as part of the the Neighborhood Liaison Unit.
Campbell received a Greater Cincinnati Public Service Award of Valor on May 11, 2017, for giving CPR to Jamie Urton, an employee for the Cincinnati Association for the Blind, when he was shot after accidentally striking a 4-year-old boy on the street in March 2017.
Under suspended police powers, she has been unable to work off-duty details.
Campbell is the second Cincinnati police officer in the past year to face charges of filing a false income tax return.
A colleague of Campbell’s who also worked scores of off-duty nightclub details, retired Cincinnati police captain, Michael Savard, entered pleas last year to federal charges of bribery and filing a false income tax return.
Savard admitted to asking for and accepting a $5,000 bribe from an unnamed sergeant to retire early so the sergeant could be promoted, federal court records show.
He recently was sentenced to five years probation on each charge of bribery and filing a false income tax return.
The sentences are running concurrently, or at the same time.
Savard also can no longer have a firearm and, now, neither can Campbell.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.