Police chief faces charges

Niki Wolfe

Newcomerstown News

After a six-week investigation of Newcomerstown Police Chief Tim Miller, seven charges have been filed with Newcomerstown Village Council with further investigations to follow.

The seven charges include:

* Allegations of misconduct regarding a mandatory meeting for police personnel on or about July 17, 2009. For example, Miller is alleged to have used abusive, threatening and/or profane language.

* Allegations of inappropriate e-mails and/or memorandums on multiple occasions in his capacity as Police Chief, these occasions include, but are not limited to the following dates: Jan. 21, 2009; Feb. 4, 2009; and May 22, 2009. These e-mails and/or memorandums are also considered to be, but not limited to: Unprofessional, condescending, abusive and/or threatening.

* Allegations that Miller made audio recordings of matters concerning the village on multiple occasions. These recordings include, but are not limited to Miller's recording the executive session of village council on or about Nov. 17, 2008, as well as conversations and/or meetings with village representatives, including, but not limited to village council members, village officials, and/or village employees.

* Allegations that Miller improperly processed, possessed and/or stored several pieces of evidence. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following items of evidence: Handgun, clip and bullets, marijuana, wallet of deceased, and money.

* Allegations that Miller authorized eight hours of pay for spouse Dana Miller, Confidential Records clerk, for the following dates: Oct. 6, 7 and 20, 2008. However, Mrs. Miller either worked less than eight hours or zero hours on those dates.

* Allegations on or about April 11, 2008, Miller addressed a suspect in an inappropriate manner. Miller's conduct was, but not limited, to inappropriate touching, abusive, threatening, profane and/or hostile.

* Allegations on or about Jan. 29, 2008, Miller allegedly recommended to village council that his spouse receive a promotion and transfer.

The disciplinary hearing for Miller has been set for Monday, Sept. 21 following the Newcomerstown Village Council. At that time, village council will serve as the judge and jury for the case where several witnesses are scheduled to be called. At that time, council can officially terminate Miller, where he will have 10 days to object and the case will go to the Tuscarawas County Municipal Court; dismiss all the charges; or suspend Miller for 60 days with or without pay.

However, Newcomerstown Village officials said the Ohio Ethics Commission may be looking into the allegations brought forth about Mrs. Miller's proposed promotion. Also, BCI may be investigating criminal charges from the allegations against Miller.

Miller received his police certification at the Coshocton Vocational School. In 1990, he started as a Reserve Officer in Newcomerstown. Four years later, he became a full-time police officer and in 2003 he was promoted to chief.