Mayor: Akron police chief was asked to resign after evidence of 'conduct unbecoming of an officer'

Posted at 5:16 PM, Aug 27, 2017

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan announced Monday the reasons behind his request for the resignation of Akron Police Chief James Nice.

On Sunday, the mayor announced that he accepted Chief Nice's resignation. 

During a news conference Monday, Mayor Horrigan said he asked for the resignation after being informed of "evidence of conduct unbecoming of an officer, inappropriate contact with a city employee and potential criminal misconduct" by Chief Nice.

"All of us who serve the public must be held and hold ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. Its is clear to me that in this instance Jim Nice's conduct violated that standard," Horrigan said.

According to the mayor, the potential criminal misconduct was related to an ongoing criminal investigation of police chief's nephew, Joe Nice.

Nice is facing multiple charges, including grand theft and forgery, accused of forging a title at an Akron auto lot where he worked.

Joe Nice denied any wrongdoing to News 5 on Monday, and said his uncle withheld evidence that would have proved his innocence. He also said that's part of the reason the former chief is being investigated.

All information regarding the potential criminal misconduct is being forwarded to the county prosecutor. 

Multiple News 5 sources said that the inappropriate contact was with a female officer and that Nice is also accused of making racially-charged comments to officers.

Major Kenneth Ball has been named the acting chief of police.

"I am angry at the circumstances that have brought us here today. It's an embarrassment. It doesn't meet the standards of the Akron Police Department," Ball said.

The former chief did not respond to multiple requests for comment, but his attorney, Mike Callahan, said Nice is upset about the investigation.

"He's apologetic for any inappropriate comments, any inappropriate conduct, but categorically denies any criminal activity," Callahan said.

Mayor Horrigan also said Monday that the resignation is completely unrelated to the case involving the Akron teenager who shot and killed himself while in police custody.

Chief Nice was sworn in as Akron Police Chief on June 3, 2011.

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