The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 22, 2013

N. Kingsville to lose officer who was filling in for chief

Star Beacon

NORTH KINGSVILLE — A police officer who has been running the North Kingsville police department during his chief’s medical leave is resigning, Mayor Terry McConnell said Thursday

Hugh Flanigan, who recently became the village’s first police sergeant in decades, will depart at the end of the month, McConnell said. The mayor read Flanigan’s resignation letter aloud at Wednesday’s meeting of the village council.

Flanigan, a four-year veteran of the department, had been serving as unofficial acting police chief while Robert Houser recuperates from a medical problem. Houser is not expected back on the job for at least another two months, McConnell said.

Council convened an executive session Wednesday night to discuss Flanigan’s departure and the supervisory situation within the police department. Another officer will be assigned to oversee the department until Houser returns, McConnell said.

“Chief Houser will not be back in time,” he said. “We will have to have to put another officer in charge.”

The officer who is selected will work closely with Houser, McConnell said.

Flanigan did not state a reason for leaving in his resignation letter, McConnell said, but believed the move would help the officer “better his career.”

Village council voted 5-1 to not accept Flanigan’s resignation, McConnell said, an action that is merely makes a statement and carries no legal weight. Councilman Dennis Kortyka cast the lone “yes” vote, the mayor said.

In January, Flanigan was promoted to sergeant, a rank not held in the village police department for 31 years. McConnell and council praised the officer’s diligence and work ethic.

McConnell said he was “totally surprised” by the resignation.

“It was unexpected,” he said. “He will be missed. I enjoyed working with him very much.”

Flanigan declined comment on his resignation Thursday afternoon.