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Circleville Safety Director Hired and Fired in a Week, Reports Turmoil in Police Department


Circleville – During last night’s council meeting Steven Wilkinson newly hired and fired Circleville Safety Director spoke openly in Circleville Council Chambers opening up against the Circleville Police Department and the City Mayor.

On March 12, 2024, Mayor Blanton with assistance from the Public attorney and safety director put Circleville Police Chief Baer on leave for 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.

During that time Wilkinson said he was involved in helping investigate the police department. Including using a retaliation complaint he had filed against Shawn Baer in part of putting him on leave. During his open discussion, Wilkinson described that the mayor had told him to stand down and that she would handle the responsibility for the police department after putting the Chief on leave until things calmed down. Wilkinson says that when he reported for work the day after he told Michelle that he wanted to start roll call introductions with Fire and Police, and correct misconduct with previous training firearm qualifications with the police department since it was commencing next week, Wilkinson was told by the mayor to stand down against the police department again and that she would handle the police department until things calmed down from the Chief move. Wilkinson said he was concerned with this position that Circleville was, “not training to follow state-mandated procedures.”

Wilkinson said that’s when things started to break down, he was instructed to meet with City Attorney Kinney before engaging with the police department, in which Wlkinson did. He then told Sergeant Fisher and Sergeant Nicholson of the Police department to train to state of standards with no deviation review the policy and develop the test. He told the officers that it would now be our responsibility to train the officers and Ken McCoy Chief of the South Bloomfield PD would not be used anymore. Wilkinson said that the Mayor overstepped him during this situation and asked for paperwork score sheets to be delivered to Kendra the Attorney instead of to him.

On Thursday of last week, Wilkinson said things changed in the office and the mayor started becoming upset with him and started asking for his resignation.

“Michelle told me that the police department was refusing to meet with me, refusing to work with me, and some were refusing to come to work,” said Wilkinson, “I told Michelle that violated law and violated their oaths of office.”

Wilkinson then stated that Michelle brought up two internal affairs investigations that he was under, and he reported that yes this was not a new revelation those were filed prior to him being hired on, and one was used to put Chief Baer on leave. Wilkinson said afterward he was relieved of duty a week after he was hired.

Wilkins claimed that he made the city aware of Circleville Police misconduct before he was hired, he said that officers are not qualified to state firearm standards and that he had witnessed civil rights violations. Wilkinson claimed that Davis of the Police department was on the Brady list in Common Pleas Court for giving false testimony and falsified police report statements.

“Davis is on the Brady List in Common Pleas Court for giving false testimony, falsifying police reports, manufactured evidence, and using race as a basic for as basis for a traffic stop. No investigation has ever been initiated in into Deputy Circleville Police Chief Davis. That is required by policy,” he said.

That statement was actually not true Deputy Chief Doug Davis was placed on administrative leave with pay on April 11, 2022, when allegations were brought up on claims of illegal body cavity searches, “manufactured” probable cause for traffic stops, and claims of racial profiling. He was returned to duty 9 months later in January of 2023.

Wilkson said that the Mayor and the City attorney fear the police and that there needs to be, “a substantial change in the city. He said he does not fear Shaun Baer or the police department. That he possesses the ability to take these issues head-on and has the courage to face these issues but was never given the opportunity. Michelle used me as a scapegoat to get Shawn Baer, then terminated me to keep me from revealing more police misconduct. In the last few years, there have been three safety directions in Circleville. I was fired for blowing the whistle on past misconduct.”

More information will come out about the upheaval in the police department. We will ask for more information and clarity from the city as this unfolds. You can watch the statements above below