BETHESDA, OH — The village’s of Bethesda’s police chief will no longer be with the department.
This comes after months of the chief being on paid administrative leave.
Village council just approved the resignation of Eric Smith who’s been under investigation for allegedly misusing the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway. Village council says Eric Smith has been on paid administrative leave since April.1
At that time, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office requested an investigation by the Ohio Attorney General’s office regarding possible misuse of the gateway database. It contains sensitive information and can only be used for law enforcement purposes.
According to a spokesperson with the attorney general’s office, the investigation has been turned over to its prosecutors. There’s no timetable on the results yet.
Meanwhile, the village just released this statement:
“An agreement of resignation was accepted and approved by village council for the position of police chief held by Eric D. Smith.
Mr. Smith has agreed to resign from the village of Bethesda police department, effective October 19, 2018.”
The decision to enter into that agreement was facilitated by Reminger Attorneys at Law of Columbus. Former sheriff Fred Thompson has been serving as police commissioner since Smith went on leave.
Meanwhile, Mayor Martin Lucas says the police department will no longer patrol or cover security at Union Local schools. Union Township will no longer contract with the department.
Mayor Lucas says its officers will continue to assist other agencies and communities when needed.Now council will begin restructuring the police department, starting with finding a new chief.