The former Akron police chief was indicted Friday on a single misdemeanor charge, ending a months-long investigation by special prosecutors.
James Nice was indicted in Summit County Common Pleas Court on a single count of attempted unauthorized use of property. The charge is a first-degree misdemeanor.
The misdemeanor charge is related to his use of a police data base. According to court records, Nice attempted to access a “law enforcement automated data base system” for personal use in February of last year.
Police have access to criminal and driving records of citizens. The data base, however, is strictly monitored and cannot be used for personal reasons. It is unclear who or why Nice allegedly attempted to access the data base. Prosecutors declined to comment.
Nice resigned last year amid allegations of misconduct first reported by WKYC TV 3. The allegations included his use of racial slurs, which prompted his resignation.
The racially charged comments were directed specifically at Charles Brown, an African-American and former police captain now serving as a member of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s cabinet.
The derogatory comments are alleged to have been recorded, though tapes have not been made public.
Nice was police chief since 2011 after spending more than 25 years with the FBI.
Investigators also focused on several automobile title transfers on vehicles owned by Nice's nephew.
Nice's investigation was overseen by Cuyahoga County prosecutors.
Ryan Miday, director of communications and public policy to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, issued the following statement Friday morning:
"As Special Prosecutor, we charged James Nice in Summit Common Pleas Court with one count of Attempted Unauthorized Use of Property, a misdemeanor of the first degree. The Court will determine an arraignment date. We have no further comment at this time. "
Nice's attorney, Michael Callahan, was not immediately available for comment.
No court date has been set and no judge has been assigned to hear the case.