Mayor says police chief targeted council members - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mayor says police chief targeted council members

MARBLEHEAD, Ohio (AP) - The village's police chief was fired after he was accused of ordering officers to target council members and plant drug paraphernalia during traffic stops.

Mayor Joseph Ihnat Jr. said two of the village's officers and a former officer told him that police Chief Wood Holbrook urged them to target council members.

Holbrook refused to comment after a hearing Thursday night.

The mayor read a letter that he wrote to Holbrook when he was suspended in January.

"You suggested that your officers carry paraphernalia pipes, and you suggested the officers carry paraphernalia for the purpose of planting evidence," he wrote.

Holbrook is being investigated by the Ottawa County prosecutor for his conduct during a traffic stop of Councilman John Imke last fall.

The stop occurred as council was considering reducing the size of the police force.

Holbrook said Imke ran a stop sign and he then found drugs in the car. Imke was charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia but the charges were later dropped.

Imke abstained from the vote to fire Holbrook and would not
comment after the hearing.

Marblehead is between Cleveland and Toledo and sits along Lake Erie.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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