New Miami votes to fire police chief Kenneth Cheek

NEW MIAMI, Ohio -- The Village of New Miami fired its police chief Tuesday night.

Former chief Kenneth Cheek was on paid administrative leave since April 4 after the village found out it could not get insurance coverage for their police department due to excessive lawsuits.

Insurers dropped New Miami from its plan altogether in March but it was reinstated recently. The police department hasn't been as lucky. Four insurers have denied coverage to it.

The village held a meeting April 17 where more than 50 residents voiced concern over the future of the village, the police department and Cheek.

RELATED: Residents want New Miami mayor to resign amid concerns over village's future

Many residents were so concerned, they called for Mayor Patti Hanes' resignation.

Cheek's wife, Sandie, said Hanes filed paperwork against her husband indicating she's trying to fire him due to an officer not being properly disciplined and a lawsuit claiming the police chief choked a suspect during an arrest two years ago. The suit was settled out of court in February.

“It is odd,” Sandie Cheek told the Journal-News of her husband’s suspension. “This court case is already over. He’s never been talked to about it before. There shouldn’t be any reason this is going on. He’s never had a write up in his entire career. “

Village Solicitor Dennis Adam confirmed that Hanes had filed charges to remove Cheek. He continued on administrative leave until council members agreed to terminate him Thursday in a 5 to 1 vote.

The village will now depends on the Butler County Sheriff's Office for assistance.

RELATED: New Miami insurance drop takes police patrols off streets

There have been no patrols since April 3.

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