Trustees to investigate police department


CLAY TOWNSHIP — The trustees voted to hire a law firm to assist them in the investigation of the township police department.

The trustees made the decision to hire Bricker Graydon, of Dayton, after discussing the matter in executive session for nearly an hour during a special meeting held Monday, March 18.

Trustee chairperson Angela Howell wouldn’t comment on the details of the planned investigation.

Howell, however, did say the investigation stems from the incident involving the pay increase given to zoning administrator Kevin Garlitz by the trustees on Jan. 8 that led to the resignation of trustees Dale Winner and Duane Heuker on Jan. 11.

Winner and Heuker resigned after members of the police department voiced concern with the raise given to Garlitz at a Jan. 10 special meeting.

Garlitz also gave notice on Jan. 11 he was quitting as the zoning administrator in two weeks.

Winner returned as a trustee after being appointed by Howell and Kevin Wrightsman on Feb. 22. Winner replaced Kyle Groh, who resigned as trustee on Jan. 29.

Howell was appointed to replace Heuker on Jan. 18.

Howell and Groh appointed Wrightsman to replace Winner on Jan. 22.

Garlitz was rehired as zoning administrator by Howell and Wrightsman on Feb. 5.

Howell said after the March 18 special meeting, Bricker Graydon will provide the trustees with legal advice during the investigation.

“Bricker Graydon specializes in labor law and they specialize in helping townships,” Howell said.

“We’re going to make sure this (investigation) gets done as thoroughly as possible,” Howell added.

Howell said the township police department is comprised of a police chief, a sergeant and five officers.

“We have three full-time officers and two part-time officers,” Howell said.

The investigation follows the adoption of a new township organizational chart approved by the trustees at the March 5 meeting.

The administrative assistant, the police chief, the road and bridge and cemetery supervisor, the zoning administrator and the fire prevention officer will report to the trustees.

The administrative sergeant, the operations sergeant, full-time and part-time police officers, the chaplain and detective report to the police chief.

Full-time, part-time and seasonal workers report to the road and bridge and cemetery supervisor.

The assistant to the fiscal officer will report to the fiscal officer.

The trustees also approved their individual township assignments for 2024 at the March 5 meeting.

Trustee chairperson Angela Howell will be in charge of:

• communications system

• community events/outreach

• information technology

• personnel

• public safety-police

• records commission

• zoning and code enforcement

trustee Kevin Wrightsman will be in charge of:

• buildings and grounds

• cemetery

• environmental

• public safety-fire

• roads and bridges

trustee Dale Winner will be in charge of:

• aggregation/JEDD/special districts

• Clay Township/Phillipsburg trash district

• insurance-health/property

• legal

All three trustees will oversee emergency and disaster management.

Wrightsman will represent the township in the State Route 49 water line extension project.

Howell will represent the township with the Brookville and Northmont chambers of commerce.

Winner will represent the township with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Montgomery County Farm Bureau and the Montgomery County Soil and Conservation District.

At the March 18 special meeting, the trustees approved a resolution authorizing a position and salary change for police officer Poland Tull, who is moving from a full-time officer to a part-time officer.

Reading from the resolution, Howell stated Tull recently accepted a position with the Preble County Engineer’s Office “and relinquishes his full-time police status to fill the vacant part-time position, effective April 1.”

Howell said Tull, who was paid $20.60 an hour as a full-time officer, will now be paid $19.57 an hour as a part-time officer.

Regularly scheduled monthly township meetings will continue to take place on the first Monday of the month, but the meetings will begin at 6 p.m. instead of 5 p.m.

The trustees voted to change the meeting time at the March 5 meeting.

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