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Ohio Chief Accused of Incompetence, Dishonesty

RAYLAND, Ohio --

Officials in a Jefferson County village have suspended their only police officer: the chief.

G. Michael Jenkins, who has been chief of Rayland since 2007, is suspended indefinitely without pay. The suspension was issued by Mayor Tammy Morelli after a village council meeting Monday night.

In a letter given to Jenkins and members of village council, the mayor listed allegations of incompetence, inefficiency, dishonesty, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public, neglect of duty, violations of policy and work rules, malfeasance, misfeasance, misuse of village property, immoral conduct and behavior unbecoming a police officer.

Village administrator and public information officer Richard Bibbo would not elaborate on the specifics of the allegations, but said the mayor's action is the result of an investigation that spanned several years.

The mayor issued a statement regarding her decision. She said "As mayor of the village of Rayland, it is my job to do what is best for the people of this community. I will continue to carry out my responsibilities to the best of my ability. If this means suspending the police chief, so be it. My intention and hope are are to be as good a mayor as possible. Not all decisions I make will be liked by everyone. The suspension of the police chief was not an easy decision, but it is one that I had to make for the good of the village."

Jenkins said he's contacted his attorney and plans to fight the allegations. He said the village didn't follow procedure in handling the matter and that his suspension was not conducted properly.

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