KIRTLAND, Ohio — The Kirtland City Council hearing regarding the termination of Police Chief Lance Nosse has been postponed until a later date, unless Nosse and the city can come to a mutual resignation agreement by Friday.
Monday’s meeting was supposed to result in a decision on whether Nosse would be terminated from his position as chief of police.
Last week, the city of Kirtland filed a termination letterfor Chief of Police Lance Nosse after a nearly three-month investigation unveiled multiple instances of misconduct and what the city called "habitual drunkenness."
Nosse originally planned to resign and retire effective July 2 but then took back that resignation and retirement on July 2 because of a disagreement in the sum of payout. In turn, the city issued the termination letter to Nosse.
In the letter, Mayor Kevin Potter addressed an investigation that found Nosse "guilty in the performance of your official duty of misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, misconduct in office, gross neglect of duty, and/or habitual drunkenness."
In the termination hearing at Kirtland City Hall Monday, Frank Consolo, Nosse’s attorney, asked the city council for the chance to investigate the allegations against his client before they vote.
“There are allegations of various individuals who have claims against my client and I do want the opportunity to interview those individuals,” said Consolo, when requesting a hearing continuance. “Our concern is that Chief Nosse’s due process rights and his rights to a fair hearing and a fair defense have been compromised.”
Consolo argued the accusations against Nosse come from the police union, the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
“The OPBA, as you saw in the charges, was intimately involved in bringing complaints against my client, Chief Nosse, for the soul purpose of getting Sgt. Fisher to replace the chief,” said Consolo to council members.
Tom Austin, the executive director for the police union, called Consolo’s accusation ‘ridiculous.’
“My organization, the OPBA, and the member’s organization reached out and said Mr. Nosse has a drinking problem and that we have a member’s assistance program, willing to help him, even though he’s not a member of our organization,” said Austin.
He said it’s his job to take care of his members.
“If there’s wrongdoing or something that we believe is wrong going on in this city, we have a duty to bring it forward and that’s exactly what we did,” he said.
Potter said he is ready for the police department to move forward without Nosse leading it.
“The city is ready for a new chapter. The department is ready for a new chapter. They deserve it. There’s a lot of good men and women over there,” said Potter.
While the city’s law director and Nosse work to come to a mutual resignation agreement, council voted to suspend Nosse without pay for 30 days while it gets worked out. If no agreement is reached, the termination hearing will be on Aug. 2 at 6 p.m.