A part-time Lowell police officer is calling for an investigation into possible ethics violations against the longtime chief there, but the village mayor says the allegations are unfounded.
Officer Leif Babb, 23, of Beverly, claims he hasn't been allowed to work for the Lowell department since May after he wrote a speeding ticket to "a poker buddy" of Lowell Police Chief Jeff Perry.
Babb also claims Perry instructed him to call him to get permission before arresting anyone.
"He didn't want any friends or family getting arrested," Babb said Monday.
Babb said he brought the issue up with Village Mayor Doug Seese and members of council.
"We met in executive session at a (June) council meeting but I haven't been able to get any answers," Babb said, adding he planned to attend a council meeting set for 7 p.m. Wednesday to try to learn more.
Contacted Monday, Perry referred all questions about the allegations to Seese. Perry has served as a part-time chief of police for the village for 24 years.
Seese said there is nothing on Wednesday's agenda concerning Babb's complaints.
Perry didn't turn in the ticket Babb wrote to his friend but it was for another reason, Seese said.
"In regard to the complaint, I followed up with the chief and determined there was more than one ticket that wasn't turned in (to Marietta Municipal Court for processing)," he said. "That was due to qualifications and them not being filled out properly.
"We've got a young group of patrolmen who help us out and as part of their training their tickets are reviewed before they go to the courts to make sure they are filled out properly ... Some weren't," Seese said. "We want to make sure they are filled out properly and that they have the proper qualifications."
Babb said he is a properly trained and certified police officer, having completed an Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy at Washington State Community College in 2010. He has worked for the Lowell department for a year and has also served as an auxiliary officer for the Coolville and New Matamoras departments.
The mayor added that Perry has done a great job over the years on a limited budget. The entire police department operates on about $22,000 annually, he said.
"We're no S.W.A.T. team or the Washington County Sheriff's Office but we do the best we can with what we have," Seese said.
Seese said Babb isn't the only part-time officer who has not been put on the schedule lately and that the department has limited hours available. He said he wasn't sure what Babb's future was at the department, although Perry indicated he did request he turn in his gear.
"Given the complaints he made, I'm not sure at this point," Seese said.