(NEW YORK POST) – A tiny Ohio village was embroiled in controversy after a local police sergeant publicly filed felony charges against the mayor and police chief — and was immediately fired.
Villagers were shocked when New Holland police Sgt. Charles “Brad” Mick walked into a village council meeting and announced he had just been fired, mere moments after he handed Mayor Clair Betzko and interim Police Chief David Conrad court summonses accusing them of a forgery scheme.
“Folks, just to let you know, when you do the right thing around here you get terminated for it,” Mick can be heard saying on a livestream of the meeting by the Scioto Post.
Betzko and Conrad were accused after Mick executed a search warrant at the New Holland Police Department’s office for files relating to previous Police Chief William Lawless’ departure.
According to a search warrant affidavit obtained by the Fayette Advocate, Mick claimed there was evidence to suggest Conrad had forged Lawless’ signature on a form changing his police status.
The affidavit states that Lawless was “believed to be in the state of Alabama on that date [that the form was signed] and not present in the state of Ohio.” Mick also wrote in the affidavit that a local employee serving as a witness confirmed Lawless’ signature was forged.
Several pieces of paper, including the allegedly forged form, were seized in the raid, the Advocate reported.
Conrad was charged with fifth-degree felony forgery while Betzko was charged with complicity to forgery and obstruction of official business.
Mick handed Betzko the summons just before a meeting was set to begin, according to the Advocate. Betzko “refused to accept the charges from Mick by throwing the paper back.”
Mick then left the meeting and went to Conrad’s office to serve him as well, according to the Columbus Dispatch. He was fired on the spot.
As the meeting began and Mick announced his termination, some residents shouted for the mayor’s resignation, with one man screaming, “That’s retaliation.”
In a statement to The Post, Mick said there was “probable cause of criminal violations and I carried out my oath of office by investigating them.”
“While it is disheartening and a violation of the law to be retaliated against and terminated for obeying the oath of office, it does not stop here,” he continued. “This is about the law and the law will be carried out. What is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter who you are.”
Betzko and Conrad didn’t respond to requests for comment.
But another village administrator defended their actions, saying the sergeant was “pursuing a personal agenda with these baseless charges.”
“Sgt. Mick has abused his position as a village police officer,” New Holland village solicitor John Gonzales told the Record Herald, “He has violated the established chain of command and conducted an improper search.”
A local resident started a GoFundMe account after Mick’s firing in order to help the former cop with expenses and legal fees should he decide to file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Mick told the Columbus Dispatch that he will file for whistleblower protection.