Oberlin police chief cleared

Ethics board drops charges in LACE case

<p class="indent">OBERLIN — The state ethics board has dropped its case against Oberlin Police Chief Grady Haynes.</p><p class="indent">The ethics board issued charges against Haynes in January 2017 accusing him of violating ethics laws by getting paid his salary as police chief and receiving additional income for writing Local Agency Compensated Enforcement program at the same time.</p><p class="indent">The LACE program is a partnership between the district attorney, city judge and police chief that allows criminal court funds to pay off-duty officers to issue traffic citations.</p><p class="indent">Attorney Alesia Ardoin of the Law Office of R. Gray Sexton in Baton Rouge, who represented Haynes, said Wednesday the board voted in executive session to dismiss the charges on Oct. 18.</p><p class="indent">“We are happy the board was able to see that the charges were not supported and made a consensus decision without us having to incur additional taxpayer expenses for a trial,” Ardoin said.</p><p class="indent">Ardoin said evidence in the matter did not support the charges of any violations of the ethics code against Haynes because the town council adopted a resolution in late 2010 allowing the police chief to participate in the LACE program. Haynes said the ordinance was passed, but the council did not amend it to include the pay in his salary.</p><p class="indent">Haynes, who has been police chief since 2011, repeatedly denied the allegations saying he was only doing his job.</p><p class="indent">“I was only doing what I was asked to do,” Haynes said. “It was nothing but a political ploy from the onset, but I am glad it is finally over and I can get back to doing my job.”</p><p class="indent">In its earlier ruling the ethics board said it was unethical for the police chief to participate because he is on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week and the program is run by his department. Ethics laws prohibit a public servant from being paid for doing the same work for which they have already been compensated.</p><p class="indent">Haynes received more than $72,000 for writing LACE tickets between 2013 and 2016, in addition to his annual salary of just over $33,000</p>””police chief

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