NEW VIENNA — The Village of New Vienna chief of police has been fired and the NVPD’s one officer has resigned.
New Vienna Village Solicitor Brett Rudduck told the News Journal in a statement that recently “the mayor and council decided to terminate immediately the employment of probationary chief, Darnell Pate [Jr.]. This past weekend, Mr. Pate was personally served the termination notice. Consequently, he is no longer employed as either an officer or probationary chief for the Village of New Vienna.”
The statement continued, “Additionally, Sgt. [Robert] Peters tendered his resignation.
“At the moment, New Vienna is without a police department and will be presumably contracting with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office until new personnel can be interviewed and the police department can be responsibly reconstituted.”
CCSO Col. Brian Prickett said that, although the CCSO has not been formally asked to police the village, the Sheriff’s Office has “always covered the village when no officers are on duty, which is what we do for all of the villages.”
The Clinton County Sheriff’s Office recently completed an investigation of the chief, his officer, and their alleged practices and incidents which had them under fire.
On June 8, the News Journal reported the investigation concluded that: the chief and his sergeant were insubordinate; the two “put the village in a very bad position legally”; “Chief Pate is a liability for the Dept.”; it recommended “disciplinary action be taken up to and including termination”; and it recommended the opening of a criminal investigation.
Pate was on the job less than five months; he previously served as interim chief.
The investigative report, which the News Journal ran online June 8, included findings/opinions from CCSO Major Brett Prickett and Clinton County Assistant Prosecutor John Kaspar.
The investigation came in the wake of what officials determined to be warrantless arrests and seizure of public property, and subsequent admonishment by a judge in open court, as well as other issues reported earlier.
Shortly after the CCSO investigation was completed, Pate was placed on administrative leave, and the investigation of Peters was continuing.
Also, both Pate and Peters qualified as Brady officers, Kaspar noted. A Brady officer is, essentially, one who may have a history of dishonesty and/or credibility issues who could not effectively testify for the prosecution.
Also previously, the News Journal reported that the Mt. Healthy (Hamilton County) Police informed New Vienna Mayor Kathi Stone by letter dated March 27 that Pate had allegedly been using his New Vienna police vehicle to work as a security guard at a local bar, allegedly using an “unmarked police vehicle patrolling the parking area ordering bar patrons into the vehicle” and that Pate had been “picking up patrons of the bar and releasing” them after “sitting stationary for a short period of time.”
No charges were filed regarding the incident, which was also part of the CCSO’s report.