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Police chief, 4 other New Lebanon leaders on leave amid investigation into potential mismanagement

NEW LEBANON — Several village employees in New Lebanon were placed on leave and escorted out after a village council meeting this week.

The village council passed, via majority vote, resolutions at Tuesday’s meeting to approve placing Village Manager Glena Madden, Police Chief Curtis Hensley, Service Department head Scott Brock, Chief Financial Officer Phillip Hinson, and Village Law Director Ronald Keener on paid administrative leave.

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Additionally, the council approved appointing a law firm to serve as special counsel for the village to conduct an internal investigation into administrative, financial, legal, and police affairs.

“Unfortunately, it has become evident there are significant areas of concern. Instances of poor performance, misconduct, and potential financial misappropriation have come to our attention,” Mayor David Nickerson said.

As reported on News Center 7 at 5:00, reporter Mike Campbell went to the village offices on Wednesday looking for answers. Nickerson did walk out to greet him, but could not speak on camera on the advice of legal counsel.

News Center 7 did obtain confirmation that the Ohio State Auditor’s Office was requested by Nickerson to investigate issues with the village’s budget.

In a document filed with the auditor’s Special Investigations Unit, Nickerson said he believed that “multiple funds are in the red.”

“(Some) under $200K already this year. We basically have no money in our budget anymore and the misuse of purchase orders and I’m requesting an emergency audit for my community,” Nickerson said.

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He claimed that he and two office staff members had proof that Madden had “altered the budget, falsified records, and purchased police cruisers without approval.”

Campbell spoke with Craig Roberts, a former council member, on Wednesday. He said that he feared this is all about a personality conflict between the mayor, some other new council members, and the village manager.

“I think they have a hidden agenda and they’ve been out to get the village manager since they were elected,” Roberts said.

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