JEFFERSON — Nathan Houser, former North Kingsville police chief, has been sentenced to one year of community control, almost a year after he was charged, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.
A jail sentence of 120 days was suspended by the judge, Steve Irwin, spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s office, said.
Houser was charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, two counts of dereliction of duty, second-degree misdemeanors and unauthorized use of property, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, according to court records.
The charges stem from an incident in 2018, where North Kingsville police officer Denny Moore was accused of downloading lewd images onto a computer at the police department, according to a press release from when charges were filed.
Houser allegedly told Moore to delete the images and resign, citing a department policy that investigators could not identify, according to the release.
Both Houser and Moore resigned during the course of the investigation.
In the course of the investigation, separate allegations arose, claiming that Houser had been having inappropriate relations with a woman in his office while on the clock, according to the release. Both Houser and Moore were charged in January, according to court records.
Moore pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of property in June and was sentenced to one year of probation with a suspended 30-day jail sentence, according to prosecutors.
Houser pleaded guilty to misuse of property and dereliction of duty in October, according to court records, and was sentenced on Thursday. As part of his plea, Houser gave up his Ohio Police Officer Training Academy certification for life, Irwin said.
Houser’s attorney Ian Friedman released a statement after the sentencing.
“Nathan and his many supporters are relieved that this difficult chapter closed today. We appreciate the professionalism of the Attorney General’s office in seeking a just and expeditious resolution as well as the thoughtful disposition imposed by the Court. We have been clear since the beginning that Nathan did not violate the public trust by committing any felony as originally indicted. The plea and sentence support this claim,” Friedman said.