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Cuyahoga County to Take Over Investigation of Former Akron Police Chief

Akron officials answer questions at a Monday news conference about the resignation of the police chief. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
Akron officials answer questions at a Monday news conference about the resignation of the police chief.

The mayor of Akron and Summit County prosecutor are asking Cuyahoga County investigate allegations surrounding former Akron Police Chief James Nice.

Mayor Dan Horrigan requested Nice’s resignation over the weekend, citing “conduct unbecoming of an officer.”

Horrigan has shared limited details about Nice’s alleged misconduct, saying it involved disparaging remarks about officers and inappropriate contact with a city employee. He also cited issues related to a case involving Nice’s nephew, Joseph Nice, and pledged to turn over information to prosecutors.

Now Horrigan has appointed special investigators from the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office to look into allegations concerning Nice.  Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh is asking that office to take over the criminal case involving Nice’s nephew.

“Based on the working relationship between the prosecutor’s office and the largest police department in the county, this appointment removes any concerns or appearances that could lead to questions of fairness or bias,” Walsh said in a prepared statement.

Ryan Miday, the director of communications and public policy for the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley, confirmed the county will take up the investigation. 

“Prosecutor O’Malley has agreed that the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office will serve as special prosecutor to oversee the pending criminal matter concerning Joseph Nice and further evaluate any evidence that may be obtained in the investigation of former Akron Police Chief James Nice,” Miday wrote in an email.

Mike Callahan, an attorney for James Nice, said this week that he and his client “categorically deny any criminal conduct whatsoever.”

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