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Akron Mayor Asks Police Chief to Resign, Cites 'Conduct Unbecoming of an Officer'

Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan addresses reporters at a news conference Monday. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan addresses reporters at a news conference Monday.

The mayor of Akron says he asked for the police chief’s resignation this past weekend after learning of “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

Mayor Dan Horrigan his deputy mayor for public safety learned from senior police command about evidence of “serious misconduct” by Chief James Nice.

“Including making derogatory statements about fellow officers, inappropriate contact with a city employee, and allegations of potential criminal conduct related to the ongoing criminal case involving his nephew,” Horrigan said.

Horrigan said he was briefed on Saturday and received the chief’s resignation on Sunday. He said information will be turned over to the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office.

Michael Callahan, an attorney representing Nice, says the former chief is “very proud” of the time he spent leading the department.

“He regrets any inappropriate comments or things of that nature that he may have made, but we categorically deny any criminal conduct whatsoever, and I intend to aggressively defend,” Callahan said in a phone interview.

City Council President Marilyn Keith said she does not believe the mayor made a “knee-jerk reaction.”

“I’m disappointed, because the chief that I knew wouldn’t be in this situation today. That’s the chief that I knew,” Keith told reporters after the mayor’s news conference Monday. “However, I also trust our mayor.”

Major Kenneth Ball will serve as acting police chief while the Horrigan administration searches for a replacement. 

Nick Castele was a senior reporter covering politics and government for Ideastream Public Media. He worked as a reporter for Ideastream from 2012-2022.