Friday, June 13, 2003

Chief faces charges

Cleves top cop is suspended

By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

CLEVES - The police chief in this village has been indicted in Hamilton County Court on charges of illegally accessing computer records of criminal histories.

Gary W. Coffey was indicted this week on two counts: unauthorized use of computer, a fifth-degree felony punishable by six to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine; and dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and up to a $750 fine.

A spokesman with the Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office said Thursday that few details were available on Coffey's alleged malfeasances, and a woman in the Cleves mayor's office said she couldn't reveal details.

Neither Coffey nor Mayor Linda Haas returned messages.

Coffey, chief of police in this village 20 miles west of Cincinnati, had been suspended by the Village Council several months ago, said Joe Whitton, who was mayor of Cleves until two months ago.

"All I can tell you is Gary Coffey is a very good guy, a super person, and really active in the community," Whitton said. "The guy is extraordinarily dedicated. People were heartbroken to hear he was suspended in the first place."


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