Council members vote unanimously to terminate Aberdeen Police Chief Greg Caudill

Village mayor accuses Caudill of skipping work

ABERDEEN, Ohio – Aberdeen Village Council members voted unanimously Monday evening to terminate the village's police chief.

The 5-0 vote to fire Police Chief Greg Caudill came exactly one week after Aberdeen Mayor Jason Phillips filed an official complaint against him.

In the complaint, Phillips accused Caudill of not showing up for work since April 11. Caudill turned in a doctor’s note earlier last month showing he was injured outside of work – but had no sick time left.

"Every day he was supposed to call me," Phillips said Monday night. "I went probably 13 days not hearing nothing."

Caudill, who has been a subject in multiple I-Team investigations, has been fired before. In 2002, he was terminated from his position as a Brown County sheriff’s deputy.

The I-Team uncovered documents showing Caudill was written up for a similar instance of tardiness during that period.

Brown County Sheriff Dwayne Wenninger wrote in a comment form in 2002 that Caudill took more days off than he had available to him.

“This is an abuse of sick time and it seems to have no end,” Wenninger wrote. “He has been counseled about this in the past.”

Caudill was later fired from the sheriff’s office when he revealed the identity of an undercover drug agent at Eastern High School.

Caudill was the school resource officer, and documents show he told a teacher that a girl in his class was really a narcotics agent.

“His lack of professional respect left a lot to be desired,” then Superintendent Christopher Burrows wrote in a letter after the incident. “The day he revealed (the agent’s identity) to me, I was immediately concerned about (her) safety.”

The agent told the I-Team she feared for her life. The operation was eventually canceled, and Caudill has since written on job applications that his reason for leaving the sheriff’s office was “explainable."

Phillips served Caudill in May with “Procedure for Removal of Village Marshal ” papers.

According to Ohio law, a mayor can file this complaint if he or she has reason to believe that a duly appointed marshal of the village is guilty of incompetency, inefficiency, dishonesty, drunkenness, immoral conduct, neglect of duty or any other acts of misfeasance.

Phillips alleges in his complaint that Caudill did not report to work since April because of "injuries occurred outside of (his) employment with the village of Aberdeen that have resulted in (him) neglecting (his) duties as chief."

He is also accused of not living in Aberdeen, which is a violation of Ohio law. Caudill lives more than 20 miles away in Adams County.

The I-Team investigated two cases in the Aberdeen Police Department – one involving a possible conflict of interest when Caudill personally handled a death investigation involving his friend, the former chief of the department.

The former chief's wife was found hanged last August – a death ruled suicide by the Brown County coroner. But the department never gave the investigation to an outside agency, even though Caudill was inside his friend's home hours before the woman was found dead.

The I-Team also investigated the Aberdeen Police Department after Caudill fired a police officer turned whistleblower.

Officer Matt Disney was let go after speaking with state investigators about the chief's second job .

Brown County’s prosecutor declined to file charges after examining the case.

Former Aberdeen Mayor Harry Foxworthy resigned April 23, the day Disney filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the village.

Two sources told the I-Team Caudill offered to resign last week if the council would write a letter saying he has done a good job as police chief.

Caudill did not show up to the termination hearing Monday, which began at 6:30 p.m.

The I-Team called Caudill for comment. He hung up and asked WCPO not to contact him.

WCPO web editor Holly Pennebaker contributed to this report.

 
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