JACKSON CENTER — The Jackson Center Village Council voted again Monday night to continue Police Chief Joseph Cotterman on paid administrative leave.
At the next village council meeting on May 23, a hearing will be held to determine if Cotterman should be continued again on paid leave, be suspended from office for up to 60 days, or removed from office completely.
According to Ohio Revised 737.171: Procedure for removal of village marshal, action of the legislative authority removing or suspending the accused from office requires the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all members elected to it.
In the case of removal from office, the person so removed may appeal on questions of law and fact the decision of the legislative authority to the court of common pleas of the county in which the village is situated. The person shall take the appeal within 10 days from the date of the finding of the legislative authority.
Cotterman was placed on administrative leave on Feb. 5, following the filing of a criminal complaint against him. On Feb. 25, he was indicted by a Shelby County grand jury on one count of gross sexual imposition, a felony of the fourth-degree.
According to court records, “on or about Jan. 27, 2016, … he, by force, had sexual contact with a 19-year-old female.”
At the Feb. 8 Jackson Center Village Council meeting, Lt. Chief Chuck Wirick was named the interim police chief.
Cotterman entered a not-guilty plea at his arraignment in early March. His trial was set to start May 12, but was rescheduled for July 26 at the request of the attorney’s handling the case, according to court records.
The hearing at the next council meeting is open to the public. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers in village hall.
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