Coal Grove allegations referred to state AG

Published 1:50 am Wednesday, January 19, 2022

COAL GROVE — Allegations made by the resigning police chief against Coal Grove Mayor Gary Sherman were referred to the Ohio attorney general’s office and the state ethics commission on Sunday.

The Coal Grove Village Council met in a special session, which began with a public comment portion, followed by a lengthy executive session, council member Denise Paulus said.

Following the executive session, the council asked village solicitor Mark McCown to refer the allegations.

Email newsletter signup

Police chief Randy Lewis announced his resignation last week, which was followed by the entire village police department resigning.

In his resignation to council, Lewis made a number of allegations of wrongdoing by Sherman.

Sherman was not present at Sunday’s meeting, Paulus said. Council member Kimberly McKnight, who serves as mayor pro tempore, accepted Lewis’s immediate resignation. It was originally scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 24.

In a response letter, Sherman said the allegations against him are false and alleged that an investigation of Lewis, spurred by citizen complaints and threatened litigation, was set to take effect before his resignation.

Lewis had served as Coal Grove’s police chief since 2018. He previously was chief in Chesapeake in 2017, before resigning after a dispute with then-Mayor Tommy Templeton.