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Breaking – City of Circleville to Finalize Investigations into Circleville Chief and Deputy Chief

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Circleville – In a special meeting the City of Circleville Administration will present negotiated agreements settling the current investigation into Chief Shaun Baer and Deputy Chief Doug Davis with separation from the city.

Chief Baer was placed on leave effective immediately on March 11 pending an investigation into allegations of potential misconduct. Including but not limited to harassment, intimidation, retaliation, threats of discipline, misuse of position, improper expenditures, failure to adhere to deadlines, and timekeeping violations.

According to former Safety director and whistleblower Steve Wilkinson, he outlined many issues with the Circleville Police Department, including civil rights violations, misconduct in handling calls, and not following state standards during firearms qualifications. Wilkinson said that the leadership in the Circleville Police department was, “toxic.” He said that his reports on these issues became a situation when he felt Circleville Police Chief Shawn Baer and Deputy Chief Doug Davis started to retaliate against him. Shortly after his reports on issues at the department he fell under investigation.

In a document shared from Wilkinson to Sciotopost, it outlines a misconduct investigation against Wilkinson where he had walked up to Deputy Doug Davis mentioned how “tan” he was, and referred to the comment as odd. Wilkinson was instructed by the Chief to not discuss the investigation with anyone even HR or the Mayor. After that investigation was concluded Wilkinson said that he was in the process of working towards the Safety director job, but before he could be hired by the Circleville Mayor he found himself again under investigation. In his opinion, Wilkinson felt that these, “investigations” against him were retaliatory and were being used to block him from being placed into the Safety director’s job. Furthermore, to attempt to show his authority and intimidate him further Baer instructed an unformed sergeant to his home on March 1st to deliver the notice of investigation. Wilkinson shortly afterward filed a complaint of harassment, intimidation, and retaliation against Police Chief Baer. That report was used to place Baer on leave.

Shortly afterwards Wilkinson was offered the Safety director job. Wilkinson also outlined the drama that unfolded after he was hired, and a week later fired from that job.

During Wilkinsons’ short time as Safety director, he told Sciotopost that he hit the ground running and told the Mayor that he wanted to start as soon as possible to introduce himself to the Fire Department, and the Police department. Wilkinson said that’s when he was first pushed back by the Mayor stating that she would handle the police department. Wilkinson said that there was an internal fight with the mayor, the city lawyer, and him on how to approach the police department. Some directives on training were handed down to the police department by Wilkinson when he attempted to approach now-acting Chief Davis about his concerns with the police department,┬ábut he was never able to get ahold of him.

In a memo to the Mayor Wilkinson outlined another serious concern with Deputy Chief Doug Davis, that he was on the Brady List which is a list of officers with internal issues whose credibility and character could be questioned on the stand.

later that week Wilkinson told us the Mayor had a, “list of demands,” from the police department and they were refusing to come to work due to being afraid of the new Safety director. Quickly after that Wilkinson said that relationship with the Mayor started to break down. Wilkinson said that he felt that the Mayor and the legal director were terrified of the police department and his leadership had become uncomfortable with them. Shortly afterward the Mayor asked Wilkinson for his resignation, but he refused, eventually, the Mayor fired him.

Davis was placed on leave on March 25, 2024, on allegations of potential misconduct. Wilkinson says one of those incidents was during a meeting with the Mayor where he believed that Davis put his hands on her.

Since then the Mayor and the Law Director have been quiet even instructing the Council to not speak to the media and to turn in any texts, emails, and outline any conversations with former safety director Wilkinson to the office. Some council people have spoken to the media complaining about the lack of transparency and unfulfilled information requests.

According to documents shared to Sciotopost and from public notices, a special meeting will be held tomorrow between the City of Circleville and Circleville City Council and an executive session will commence to speak on tentative agreements from Chief Baer and Deputy Chief Davis to remove them from their current positions. These deals were most likely negotiated by lawyers for the goal of finalizing separation. The details of those final agreements have yet to be shared. We will update you with more info tomorrow.