Jackson Township trustees Tuesday suspended Police Chief David Zink for one month and ordered him to repay the township.
Trustees suspended Police Chief David Zink for one month Tuesday after reviewing an investigator’s report that said the chief made multiple unwanted sexual advances toward one of the department’s employees.
Trustees, who met in a lengthy closed-door session Tuesday before voting on the suspension, also ordered Zink to repay the township for the roughly 20 days he was on paid administrative leave and directed him to participate in training and counseling. A calculation of how much he must repay the township was unavailable Tuesday night.
Zink is a 26-year veteran of the department and was promoted to chief in 2010.
Neither Zink nor the trustees could be reached for comment Tuesday.
A press release issued by the township Tuesday evening said the trustees based their decision to suspend the chief on an independent report from an out-of-county investigator.
“The Jackson Township Board of Trustees takes these matters very seriously,” the release said.
The township hired Attorney John F. Hill of Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs in Akron on Nov. 30 for $270 an hour, up to $7,500, to investigate since the allegations involved the chief.
Hill’s report states that Zink violated the township’s harassment policy by trying to have a physical or dating relationship during the last five years with a female police department employee whom he supervises. The attempts included a kiss, repeated offers to travel out of town together for training, uninvited visits to her home and an uninvited visit to her hotel while she was away at training two hours away from Stark County.
Hill also said that Zink, who is married, was aware the female employee did not welcome his advances and had been cautioned by at least one other employee who said “he should be careful about how he interacts with her.”
Hill said the female employee did make poor judgments about reporting and addressing the chief’s advances.
“In that respect, she shares some responsibility for the situation continuing and deteriorating — but her responsibility is secondary to Zink’s and ultimately attributable to the inappropriate environment he initiated and fostered,” Hill said in his report.
According to the report, Zink denied all of the allegations when interviewed by Hill. But Hill noted that he was able to corroborate most of the allegations by a third party or through documents and that Zink had not been persuasive in denying the allegations. He said the chief hesitated when asked about an incident in 2007, then read from a prepared written statement to describe his version of the events. At another point in the interview, Hill said Zink had become “flustered and ambiguous” in addressing the allegations.
The Jackson Township Police Department has 44 full-time and seven part-time officers, and serves more than 40,000 residents.
Page 2 of 2 - OTHER ACTION
•Approved an amendment to the zoning certificate fee schedule. While some fees remained the same, fees for zoning certificates increased in most areas with one decrease in new construction for three-family dwellings. Increases to zoning fees range from $10 to $50 and become effective Jan 1. It is the first major update made to the fee schedule since 2006.
•Approved $7,040 to purchase 12 new digital radios for trucks in the highway division.
•Approved $5,719 to purchase a brine tank for one truck to pre-wet salt for roads.
• Accepted donations for the 2013 Community Celebration as follows: $100 each from Hammontree & Associates and Southway Fence, $250 each from Redmonds Parts Supply and Terry’s Truck and Trailer Center, and $500 each from DeHoff Development Co. and Jackson-Belden Chamber of Commerce.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION Community Celebration committee meets 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Jackson Township Hall.
UP NEXT Meets at 5 p.m. Jan. 8 at Jackson Township Hall.