Special prosecutor requested to oversee investigation involving former Akron Police Chief James Nice

Posted at 1:44 PM, Aug 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-30 15:56:05-04

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh requested Wednesday the appointment of a special prosecutor to evaluate evidence surrounding the investigation concerning former Akron Police Chief James Nice.

The special prosecutor would come from Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley’s Office.

The special prosecutor will also oversee the pending criminal matter concerning Joseph Nice, the nephew of the former chief.

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

"Based on the working relationship between the prosecutor’s office and the largest police department in the county, this appointment removes any concerns or appearances that could lead to questions of fairness or bias, either way, in the handling of either the Joseph Nice or former Chief Nice investigations and/or prosecutions," said Prosecutor Walsh.

Mayor Dan Horrigan also on Wednesday appointed special investigators from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office who will be authorized to investigate the allegations concerning former Chief Nice and will furnish information to the special prosecutor.

Mayor Horrigan requested Chief Nice's resignation after being informed of "evidence of conduct unbecoming of an officer" that included inappropriate contact with a city employee and potential criminal misconduct.

The mayor said 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.