JACKSON TWP: The Board of Trustees met Tuesday night amid criticism and concern over the ongoing investigation into the sexual harassment claims against Police Chief David Zink.
Zink, who is married, has been accused of trying to have a physical or dating relationship with a female police department employee who did not welcome his advances. He has been suspended through Jan. 31.
He has also been ordered to pay back three weeks of vacation pay for the time he spent on administrative leave and to attend training and counseling sessions.
Zink, 49, became chief in March 2010 after he joining the police department in 1986. He currently earns $91,271 annually.
A relative of the alleged victim addressed the trustees during the meeting saying that she does not want to return to work because of the hostile environment.
"[She] took five years to come forward,” the relative said.
”She wanted nothing, no money, anything. All she wanted was for the harassment to stop."
The Beacon Journal generally does not name the victims of alleged sexual crimes, and in the story is not naming the relative to help protect that identity.
Zink, who was in the audience at the meeting, had no comment. His attorney, Robert Tscholl spoke on his behalf.
"My client denies the accuser’s allegations,” Tscholl said. “They had a friendly, non-sexual relationship and Chief Zink has always run a tight, professional department."
Some residents in attendance at the meeting voiced their concerns about the issue to the board, including the clarity of this investigation and the conditions the alleged victim would have to endure.
Trustee President James Walters repeated to the audience that because the investigation is an ongoing legal personnel matter, the board would not comment at this time.
The Fraternal Order of Police also submitted a letter to the trustees regarding Zink. Police Ohio Labor representative Charles Wilson read the letter aloud to the board.
"Chief Zink treats his position as an opportunity for personal gain as opposed to an opportunity to serve the citizens of the Township," the letter stated.
Wilson then addressed the board after reading the letter.
"The Township Trustees seem to be willing to hold Chief Zink to such a low standard," Wilson said.
James Walters responded by saying, "I resent some of your comments and will not make a public comment regarding this issue at this time."