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Council to hear charges against police chief on May 7

BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village Council will hold a special meeting starting at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 7, to hear Mayor Peggy A. Wells’ charges against Police Chief Jimmy Hanzey.

Wells filed 22 administrative counts against Hanzey with the village clerk as required by state law on April 25. The counts allege Hanzey is guilty of incompetency, dishonesty, insubordination, neglect of duty and other acts of misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance. The charges stem from an internal affairs investigation conducted by the Pataskala Division of Police. Detective Sgt. Gary Smith was the lead investigator. Pataskala Police Chief B. Brooks agreed to conduct the internal affairs investigation at no cost to Buckeye Lake because another department provided the same service to them several years ago.

At this point, Wells’ charges are administrative charges and if five of seven council members agree after the hearing, Hanzey will be terminated. Newark attorney W. Douglas Lowe will be presenting the charges against Hanzey. Newark attorney W. Prentice Snow will conduct the hearing, assisting Council President Kitty Zwissler. Snow has experience conducting U.S. Court of Military Appeals hearings.

Hanzey is represented by Harbor Hills attorney Larry Arnold.

The hearing will be open to the public with limited seating. There will be no opportunity for public comments or questions. Snow is expected to maintain strict courtroom decorum with no applause, comments, or audible/ visual reactions permitted. Anyone violating his standards of conduct will be immediately removed.

Two private duty Licking County Sheriff’s Office deputies will be present to maintain order and enforce Snow’s orders.

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