AG OKs top Walbridge cop’s new job PDF Print E-mail
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 08 November 2013 11:19
WALBRIDGE - The village police chief has the approval of the Ohio Attorney General's Office to also be the village administrator.
In an opinion dated Oct. 22, AG Mike Dewine said a person may serve simultaneously as administrator and chief of police for Walbridge.
The exceptions include, as administrator, Kenneth Frost may not approve invoices, estimates, contracts or expenditures for the police department without the approval of the village's legislative authority. As police chief, Frost must remove himself from any investigation concerning the office of village administrator.
After Wednesday's council meeting, Mayor Ed Kolanko said he was pleased, but not surprised, with the decision.
"We were confident with the advice of our solicitor, which was confirmed by the ruling," Kolanko said. "He (Frost) does a great job in both capacities and we're elated to see him continue in both roles."
In April, council asked the attorney general for an opinion after some residents complained about Frost doing both jobs. Frost was hired as police chief in February, 2011, and was made permanent village administrator in March after serving in the position on a part-time basis since May, 2012.
In the 12-page opinion, Dewine noted that neither the police chief or administrator position is elected, and they operate independently of each other. Also, neither position is required to assign duties to or supervise the other.
The opinion did cite some instances where there could be conflicts of interests, such as if the village administrator or his office is ever accused of wrongdoing and the village police chief becomes involved in the investigation.
"This potential conflict, however, does not render these two positions incompatible," the opinion said.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, council:
• Heard Councilman Ken Gilsdorf, chairman of the Infrastructure, Building and Lands Committee, report that a new lease proposal for property the village owns on East Broadway Street is being considered. The land is already leased, but the new proposal could bring in more revenue, he said. The committee is also looking into hiring a part-time employee to handle property maintenance complaints, which are on the rise, Gilsdorf said.
• Heard Frost report that for the first time in the history of the department, officers were invited to participate in a DUI checkpoint recently in Northwood.
• Heard from representatives from the Walbridge Centennial Committee, which has several events planned for the end of the year. They include a parade of lights on Dec. 8, Christmas cookie sale on Dec. 19 and Christmas caroling on Dec. 22.
• Went into a 10-minute executive session to discuss wages and employment of personnel. No action was taken.

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