NEW HOLLAND – It has been widely reported that Charles Mick was terminated from the Village of New Holland as a police sergeant in July of 2018 in retaliation for filing charges against his superiors; however, the attached documents provide evidence and make assertions that it was in fact Mick who was retaliating against village officials for not making him the next Chief of Police. In a pending lawsuit, New Holland Mayor Butch Betzko claims that Mick demanded the Chief position on the 17th and executed a search warrant against the village 4 days later after the demand was refused. Betzko asserts Mick’s investigation never had merit. Betzko said, “Only by going to an independent agency could such an investigation be conducted.”
On May 13th, 2019, the Village of New Holland’s council reviewed the termination of Mick’s Employment for Cause, as prescribed by Ohio Revised Code. Charles Mick was terminated on July 23th in 2018. We’ve secured the booklet that was handed out by New Holland at the hearing last week, and all pages have been attached. In addition, we have attached a civil claim filed by Betzko against Mick and others that provides more details on what may have happened.
Mick’s Termination Letter
I hereby certify that effective immediately Charles Mick is suspended from the Village of New Holland police department. The suspension is for incompetence, failure to obey orders, gross neglect of duty, violation of [policies] and procedures of the New Holland Police department and insubordination. These charges stem from the following actions:
Meeting with a person known to have charges pending in Pickaway County Municipal Court filed by Officer Mick. Meeting with a person of interest involved in an open investigation. Failure to inform his chain of command of the meeting. Failing to disclose upon request by his supervisors the content of the discussions had during the meeting. Meeting with a female witness alone in the police station. Failing to immediately terminate the meeting upon order by the Mayor. Obtaining a search warrant of the Village offices and carrying out the search along without recording the search. Association with known offenders. Mayor Betzko’s Judgement
In the Mayor’s judgement (attached), the Mayor details that the secret meeting (1 & 2 from the above list) was with Karen Francis and Teresa Bayer. He also notes that the suspect that Mick interviewed alone was Brenda Landman.
On July 21st, 2018, Mick obtained a search warrant to search the New Holland offices for evidence in a forgery charge against his mayor and acting police chief, 3 weeks after an internal investigation of Mick had begun, 4 days after Mick had demanded to be the new chief, 1 day before he presented charges at a council meeting, and 1 day before he was fired. In regards to Mick’s search, the Mayor’s judgement says, “If the Chief and I were involved, Officer Mick should have contacted the Council President or our Village Solicitor for direction. If Officer Mick had legitimate concerns of misconduct, he should have contacted the County Sheriff, City or County Prosecutors or the Ohio Attorney General. His failure to do so showed complete incompetency, as any internal investigation he conducted would have been tainted. Only by going to an independent agency could such an investigation be conducted.” Betzko adds, “It became apparent that items were missing from files that had nothing to do with the search warrant.”
Mick & Landman’s Text Exchange
Landman is the woman that Mick was accused of meeting alone with at the police station. The booklet contains texts between Mick and Landman. About the text, Betzko says, “Officer Mick violated the law, was grossly [negligent] in his duty, violated Department policy by encouraging a witness to provide false testimony and may have committed a felony under R.C. 2912.12.
ORC 2921.12, Tampering with evidence reads: (A) No person, knowing that an official proceeding or investigation is in progress, or is about to be or likely to be instituted, shall do any of the following: (2) Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public official who is or may be engaged in such proceeding or investigation, or with purpose to corrupt the outcome of any such proceeding or investigation. (B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree.
At the time of the interview and text messages, Derek Myers was attempting to build a case against Jason Lawless, the Police Chief, related to telephone harassment by Landman. Betzko asserts that these text messages prove that Mick was attempting to tamper with the witness, and was conspiring against the Village of New Holland using illegal means long before Mick pressed charges against his bosses. See this link for photos of the unabridged text messages.
Irrelevant messages omitted. See attached images for full unedited exchange.
Mick Did Jason provide you with a number to potentially reach Derek [Meyers]?Was he with you when calls were made? And did he allow you to make calls from his office? Landman No Jason did not give me any number I never used police phone ever. It wasn’t phone calls made. It was one made of my cell phone and yes I called him a [homosexual slur]. Nobody asked me too Mick Ok. Soooo you want out of this mess? Landman Yes Mick Write me a statement and it’ll be done. I’m telling you that if you write a statement that Jason was with you when calls were made and he allowed you to use his office to call. I will almost guarantee it will go away. You want it to end? Let’s do it. Lawless or Conrad or anyone from NHPD will hurt you. Landman You want me to write a statement against lawless. Joey was in the room. No one told me to call Derek that name I just did .. Mick Yes Speak this to no one or I can’t help.
Extension & Hearing
Mick had requested an extension to the May 13th hearing so he might have time to obtain legal counsel. However, the Ohio Revised Code that governs terminating a village employee (737.19) says, “The legislative authority shall hear the appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting.” In this case, the village had no authority to grant a continuance. The same section of code also states an appeal to the villages decision may be filed within 10 days of the finding to the common pleas court.
According to witnesses, Mick asked no questions at the council hearing, presented no evidence, and did not attempt to refute any statements or facts presented.
In October of 2018, Mayor Betzko filed a civil complaint against Mick, a John Doe, and Jane Doe for defamation, malicious prosecution, false light, and abuse of process. Teresa Bayer and Karen Francis were later added as defendants on the legal action. The suit asks for damages to exceed $350k+ and attorney’s fees. The original complaint is attached.