Is he a crooked cop or a victim of community lies?
The police chief in the Wood County village of North Baltimore is under investigation and has been off the job since July. But his future should be known soon.
News 11's Dick Berry investigated the story in North Baltimore.
The officer is Chief Gerald Perry. Village officials aren't specific about what he allegedly did, only describing it as inappropriate conduct. Meanwhile, an acting chief has just been hired and begins Monday until the Perry probe is completed. Longtime Police Chief Gerald Perry remains on paid administrative leave because of numerous complaints filed against his department with the village.
Kathy Healy, village administrator said, "Once someone comes forward with an allegation, you have several people who think 'this happened to me so I'm going to call about it."
Two combined investigations have been ongoing. An administrative one to determine Perrys' future on the department. Another conducted by a private detective that could reveal if Perry broke any laws.
Most residents News 11 talked to think it's time for a change. Jerrod Rechenbach, North Baltimore resident said, "They still have drugs in town. Crime going on. Kids are out late. Not doing what they're supposed to do."
Vicky Rayle, another North Baltimore resident said, "I think the town is growing and needs somebody to grow with it and not keep it stagnant."
Perry does have a few supporters. Resident Rank Brooks said, "Since Chief Perry has been out there, I can't complain."
Friday the village council will ask the Wood County prosecutor to forward the private investigator's report to the Ohio attorney general's office. This means Perry finds out soon if he faces administrative charges.
"Within I would say a matter of weeks we'll be discussing with Chief Perry what we believe, if we believe, there's evidence of wrongdoing."
At that time, Perry could be cleared, disciplined or fired.