The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 26, 2013

N. Kingsville PD has its fill-in chief back

Star Beacon

NORTH KINGSVILLE —  A North Kingsville police officer filling in for the village’s ailing police chief isn’t resigning after all, Mayor Terry McConnell said Monday.

Sgt. Hugh Flanigan on Sunday submitted a letter to the mayor stating his intention to remain, four days after McConnell read aloud the officer’s resignation at a village council meeting. Flanigan had planned to leave the department at the end the month.

“It’s just like he never left,” McConnell said.

McConnell said he spoke with Flanigan on Friday regarding “differences” the officer had with some council members. “There were issues he wanted to talk about,” the mayor said.

After speaking with some on council, Flanigan put on paper his desire to stay put, McConnell said.

“He wanted to stay,” the mayor said. “He likes it here. I’m hoping everything works out.”

Flanigan, reached for comment Monday, said he felt the village has a good council.

“Some things needed to be straightened out,” he said. “Things have worked out for the best.”

Flanigan has worked four years in the village department and in January — with the backing of council — became the department’s first sergeant in 31 years. Last week, council voted 5-1 against accepting the resignation, according to reports.

Councilman Dennis Kortyka, chairman of council’s police/fire/rescue committee, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Flanigan’s pending departure was a source of anxiety in village hall. For the past few months, he has been overseeing the police department while Chief Robert Houser is on an extended medical leave. Had Flanigan left, McConnell was prepared to find another officer to monitor operations.

“This makes things a whole lot better,” McConnell said.