Saturday, May 11, 2002

Chief cited in coverup is replaced

The Associated Press

        PERRYSVILLE, Ohio — This Ashland County village, which made headlines in March when its police chief allegedly concocted a story to cover up an accidental shooting, has a new chief.

        The Village Council this week named Brian McCauley as the town's only full-time officer. Officer McCauley has been a part-time officer since 1996 and will be paid $30,680 a year as chief.

        Mayor Renee Mott said the police department, which was shut down more than six weeks ago, could reopen by the end of May. The sheriff's department has been providing police protection.

        Officer McCauley replaces fired former Chief Tim Sommer. Mr. Sommer, 52, was indicted and charged with making a false alarm in connection with the shooting incident.

        He was also charged with four counts of theft in office and one of forgery.

        Mr. Sommer pleaded innocent to the charges and his trial was set for Aug. 8 in Ashland County Common Pleas Court.

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


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