The mayor cited a “pattern of things” in suddenly forcing out James Nice, police chief for six years. They included a sexual relationship with a subordinate and making racially charged comments about other officers.
James Nice, the police chief of Akron, Ohio, has been forced out of his job for misconduct, although Mayor Dan Horrigan declined to detail what prompted the chief’s abrupt departure, reports the city’s Beacon Journal. Nice resigned Sunday at the request of the mayor, who had been informed over the weekend that the chief was engaging in a “pattern of things” — an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate officer, possibly meddling in his nephew’s criminal case of car theft and document forging, and making derogatory remarks about a fellow officer. He had been chief for six years in the city of 200,000, leading a force of about 450 sworn officers.
The derogatory comments were racial in nature and critical of the physical fitness of other officers, according to Horrigan’s chief of staff. Officials are withholding the identity of a female subordinate that Nice is accused of coercing into a relationship. County prosecutors are reviewing evidence of the chief’s alleged meddling in a felony investigation. Major Ken Ball was appointed interim chief. “I am angry at the circumstances that have brought us here today,” Ball said Monday. “It’s an embarrassment. It doesn’t meet the standards of the Akron Police Department. And unfortunately this organization and members of its team will suffer.”