By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MONROE - Police Chief Ernest Howard has been hospitalized for heart problems, and it isn't known when he will return to work, city officials said Wednesday.
Howard was taken to Middletown Regional Hospital Monday night for heart blockages and is awaiting test results, Acting City Manager William Brock said.
In the meantime, Monroe Police Capt. Tom Bishop is filling in.
Howard, 68, said Wednesday he wasn't suffering chest pains "much right now" and was "trying" to get better.
Howard has been Monroe's police chief since 1990. He began his career in law enforcement 42 years ago walking a beat in downtown Middletown.
Last month, Howard announced he would retire by January because of health concerns and to spend more time with his family.
At that time, Howard said morale was "in the toilet" because of uncertainty in the city, particularly the police department.
Monroe faces budget cuts, possible layoffs and a proposed income-tax increase after disclosures that the city faces an estimated $1.2 million budget deficit in 2004.
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