Ex-Chief Accused Of Making Up Story Indicted On Additional Charges

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) - A grand jury has indicted a fired police chief on felony charges of forgery and theft in office.

Former Perrysville Police Chief Tim Sommer originally was accused of staging a traffic stop to cover up an accidental shooting. The other charges resulted from an investigation by the Ashland County prosecutor's office and sheriff's department of his tenure as police chief.

Sommer, 52, was arrested April 2 and accused of filing a false report. He was freed two days later on a $10,000 bond.

A grand jury indicted him Wednesday on six counts, including forgery and four charges of theft in office.

Prosecutors accuse Sommer of forging part-time officers' paychecks and taking $4,600 from payroll checks, $1,550 from donated money and $1,245 from fine payments.

One count of theft accuses Sommer of stealing a .22-caliber rifle.

If convicted on all six counts, Sommer faces eight years in prison.

Sheriff's investigators concluded that after Sommer accidentally fired a shot through the windshield of his cruiser in the police garage on March 19, he drove to a rural road and staged a traffic stop.

While reloading his gun, Sommer accidentally shot himself in the leg. He told investigators that he had been shot by a man he pulled over for driving without license plates.

Sommer became Perrysville's police chief in December 1999. A decade ago, he received a six-month suspended jail sentence after pleading guilty to using a Morrow County Sheriff's Department credit card to buy gasoline for personal use while he was a sheriff's deputy.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)