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Dale Thomas for Circleville Police Chief? Others are in Line Before That Could Happen Here’s Why


Circleville – Following the removal of both the Circleville Police Chief and the Deputy Chief people have asked who can fill the shoes of the top brass in the Circleville Police Department to restore the integrity of the department, one name has been spoken more than most, Dale Thomas.

Thomas ran for Pickaway County sheriff in the primary election against the sitting Sheriff Hafey, he did not win in the primary, but it was a difference of just 160 votes. Dale who is a lifetime Pickaway County citizen, worked in the Pickaway County sheriff’s office for 20 years, some feel he’s a shoo-in for the job, but that’s not how it works.

Circleville like many cities in Ohio is a Statutory form of Government, and under that form, they have to rule under the Ohio Revised Code Title 7. By law addition to a council, a mayor, the President of the Council, and three principal administrators (auditor, treasurer, and law director) are chosen by the electorate. The daily operations of the city are administered by the mayor. The City of Circleville has a Safety Service Director who reports to and is appointed by the mayor.

The mayor, auditor, treasurer, and law director are elected to four-year terms. The city council is elected to two-year terms. The President of the city council, three at-large representatives, and ward representatives one through four are selected by the electorate. This is all outlined in the code, so is how the Police Chief is selected.

Ohio Revised Code Section 124.44 which states, “Vacancies in positions above the rank of patrol officer in a police department shall be filled by promotion from among persons holding positions in a rank lower than the position to be filled.“

There are several candidates in the City of Circleville that fit the criteria for acting current Chief Kenny Fisher, Jon Farrelly, Eric Nicholson, and Matthew Harrell. All have rank and follow the code to be the next police Chief.

There is a stipulation there is a provision in the statute that allows them, the city, to declare a special need to declare that they need somebody who’s got certain experiences.

Section 106.10 states if a mayor requests an emergency appointment, the office “shall authorize one or more provisional emergency appointment(s) as needed.”

Don’t forget that there’s another important position that needs to be filled the safety director job. I know there’s another big name that could be shaken up with a lot of experience. Rob Radcliff, and his current position with the Pickaway County Judge is also changing hands. Maybe Radcliff will toss his hat into one of these rings. Time will tell.