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Silverton police chief fired

The Cincinnati Enquirer (Ohio)
BYLINE: Steve Kemme

Silverton, OH

SILVERTON - Mike Daudistel, who has been Silverton's police chief for 10 years, has been fired for his alleged interference in a Hamilton County murder investigation and for three other incidents.

City Manager Mark Wendling fired Daudistel on Friday, more than ten months after placing him on paid administrative leave. Wendling's findings-of-fact report charges Daudistel with neglect of duty, incompetency, inefficiency, failure of good behavior, misfeasance and non-feasance.

"I just think it's unfortunate," Wendling said.

Wendling's report says Daudistel's role in the investigation of the execution-style slayings of two teenagers on Sept. 23, 2007 in Silverton was one of four incidents that led to his dismissal. Daudistel began his own investigation into the slayings because he believed Silverton police Lt. Bruce Plummer and Hamilton County investigators had accused the wrong person of being the triggerman, according to Daudistel's recent written response to Wendling's allegations.

The other three incidents involve allegations that Daudistel failed to ensure that a September 2008 restaurant armed robbery was investigated in a timely manner; failed to properly investigate a June 2008 assault-and-battery case; and had two used marijuana pipes - one shaped like a penis and the other a miniature car - from the police property room in his office drawer. City officials believed Daudistel had placed the pipes in his desk to save them as curiosity items, not because he planned to use them.

Don Hardin, Daudistel's attorney, said there is no substance to the allegations, and the firing is unjustified. He said Daudistel will be filing an appeal with the Silverton Civil Service Commission.
Daudistel, 52, earned an annual salary of $73,018. Lt. Bruce Plummer has served as Silverton's acting police chief since Daudistel was placed on paid administrative leave on October 31 of last year. Wendling took that action soon after learning that in the previous month, the Hamilton County prosecutor's office threatened Daudistel with charges of obstruction of justice and tampering with witnesses.

Daudistel had ordered his officers to interview witnesses who had already been interviewed during the investigation and who already had testified before the grand jury. Prosecutors worried that re-interviewing witnesses would frighten them from testifying in the murder trial.

In his written response, Daudistel said he stopped investigating the case after the prosecutors' warning.

Wendling said city officials haven't decided how to proceed in hiring a permanent replacement for Daudistel.

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