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Kirtland police chief facing termination due to misconduct allegations

Chief Lance Nosse is slated for a hearing Monday amid 13 charges of racial, sexist comments, public drinking.

KIRTLAND, Ohio — The city of Kirtland is taking steps to fire its embattled police chief amid accusations of misconduct ranging from harassment to drunkenness.

The 13 allegations against Chief Lance Nosse were contained in a letter sent to the chief at his home Thursday by Mayor Kevin Potter.

Nosse is scheduled to have a hearing on the charges Monday in Kirtland City Hall. He and his attorney were not immediately available for comment.

A member of the Kirtland Police Department for 24 years and its chief since 2017, Nosse has been under scrutiny for at least three months and initially resigned earlier this year. He later rescinded the resignation, leading to the internal investigation that ended with the mayor's termination recommendation.

Among the charges, the city claims it has evidence that Nosse "explicitly and/or implicitly ridiculed, mocked, derided, or belittled subordinates" and "made offensive or derogatory comments to subordinates based on race, color, or sex."

The letter alleges there is video and audio evidence, along with text messages and phone records that confirm the violations.

He is accused of “misfeasance, malfeasance, nonfeasance, misconduct in office, gross neglect of duty, and/or habitual drunkenness,” according to the letter.

The charges include:

 *Vehicle/Equipment Use Policy 

"You are alleged to have consumed alcohol prior to driving the City-issued motor vehicle on April 13, 2021 and on April 14, 2021. • You are alleged to have operated the City-issued motor vehicle with an open container in violation of the law of the State of Ohio on April 13, 2021. • The violation of this written work rule can result in disciplinary action, including termination

*Unbecoming Conduct

There is evidence, both on duty for and off duty, of unbecoming conduct in violation of this rule. Through your actions on video from April 13-14, 2021 at a subordinate’s home with driving the City-issued vehicle and your actions outside his home, said conduct was unbecoming. Additionally, there is evidence that you have created an environment at the Police Department that brings the Department in disrepute, reflects discredit upon you as a member of the Police Department, and impairs the operation and efficiency of the Department. Said evidence will show the frequent use of vulgar hand gestures, vulgar language, verbal abuse (yelling, providing mean-spirited comments), sexual comments, gender comments, LGBTQ comments, and racial comments are all unbecoming conduct

  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.07 – Immoral Conduct • There is evidence that you failed to maintain a level of moral conduct both in your personal and business affairs that brings disrepute to the Department. In addition to the above, you have lied to both myself and my staff as it relates to the use of your cell phone and a “sergeant’s phone” and there is evidence that you have destroyed what may have been a public record, in violation of Ohio’s Public Records Laws.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.10 – Neglect of Duty • There is evidence that you have committed acts specifically prohibited by the laws of this State (open container, public records violations), policies and procedures (vehicle use policy and KPD’s Rules and Regulations). Additionally, there is evidence that you have engaged in activity or personal business that caused you to neglect or be inattentive to the City. Evidence will show frequent trips leaving the City for several hours during the work day for personal business and that said absences caused you to be inattentive to the City.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.14 – Leaving Duty Post • Evidence will show that you have left not only the post but the City during normal business hours for no municipal purpose.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.17 – Alcoholic Beverages and Drugs in Police Installations • See Violation of Vehicle Use Policy (Violation #1)
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.20 – Use of Alcohol Off Duty • There is evidence that you have used alcohol while off duty to the extent that it resulted in impairment, obnoxious or offensive behavior which not only discredits you but the Department, or rendered you unfit for your next shift. This not only includes the night of April 13-14, 2021 but there is other evidence that the use of alcohol impaired your ability to render you unfit for your next shifts.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.50 – Use of Department Equipment • There is evidence that you have not used Department-issued equipment only for its intended purpose. Specifically, you are alleged to have misused not only your City-issued cellular telephone but you later misappropriated a “sergeant’s phone” for personal use.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.51 – Operating Vehicles • See Violation #1. Additionally, there is damage to your City-issued vehicle that was not reported to the City.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.55 – Truthfulness • There is evidence that you had lied to me when being questioned regarding the use of the City-issued vehicle and to my staff about the use of the “sergeant’s phone”.
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.71 – Harassment (Sexual, Ethnic, Racial or Religious) • There is evidence that you engaged in conversation that is in violation of this rule when you have made various statements or comments to subordinates that constitute harassment (sexual, ethnic and racial).
  • Kirtland Police Department Rules and Regulations – Rule 10.73 – Discipline/Dismissal • The violation of any of these Rules and Regulations /(Violations 2-11) may be cause for dismissal.
  • Violation of Chapter 149 of the Ohio Revised Code • There is evidence that you have deleted records that should have been maintained in accordance with the Ohio Public Records laws.
  • Violation of Kirtland Codified Ordinance 254.28 – Harassment Policy • There is evidence that you explicitly and/or implicitly ridiculed, mocked, derided, or belittled subordinates. Additionally, there is evidence that you have made offensive or derogatory comments to subordinates based on race, color, or sex. • Such harassment is considered misconduct and is subject to discipline.

You can read the entire letter below:

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Editor's Note: The below video is from a previously published, unrelated story