When the Bryan Police Department brought Gary Mohre aboard as assistant chief in January, city officials were excited to have his more than four decades of local law enforcement experience and solid reputation on staff.
On Tuesday, however, Mohre was removed from his position with the city alleging incompetency, insubordination and destruction of public records.
Meanwhile, Chief Christopher Chapa remains on paid administrative leave as an investigation into Mohre’s allegations against him continues.
According to a news release issued by Mayor Carrie Schlade following a closed, executive session with city council, “Mohre had indicated he was unable to do basic police work such as OVI investigations or responding to incidents involving potential domestic violence.”
The city also said Mohre was insubordinate to Chapa, refusing to “potentially work afternoon or evening hours to enhance his competency” and using profanity toward the chief.
He also “recently destroyed public records that were the subject (of) a non-criminal investigation within the police department.”
When reached by The Bryan Times Tuesday night, Mohre said that in his 42 years of experience, he’s tended to many types of emergency situations.
He also noted that he was hired to work a first-shift, Monday-to-Friday administrative position, not road patrol. He also contended that he did work second shift for BPD on several occasions, when asked.
Mohre also said the public records the city alleged he destroyed were personal messages on his phone and Facebook that he deleted.
“The bottom line is I saw there was a problem at the police department,” he said. “I brought them to Mayor Schlade’s attention and I was ignored so I brought them to city council’s attention.”
By making his allegations public, Mohre said, he hoped to improve the department.
“The guys at BPD deserve better,” he said.
An investigation by an attorney from the New Albany, Ohio-based firm of Fishel, Downey, Albrecht and Riepenhoff is ongoing. In response to follow-up questions from The Times, Schlade confirmed allegations against Chapa are also part of the legal probe.
At a council meeting Aug. 2, Mohre said that after a heated discussion with Chapa, he went home from work early and Chapa followed him to his house. Mohre said Chapa persisted even after he asked him to leave his property and the chief even made his way into Mohre’s home when Mohre opened a door to let his wife inside.
Soon after, Mohre submitted a letter of resignation but city council took the unusual move of denying the resignation, by a 3-2 vote.
The following Friday, Aug. 6, Schlade sent The Times an email saying that both men had been put on leave.
Mohre served as the chief of police in the village of Blakeslee from 1990 until March of 2020, when he was appointed interim Williams County sheriff. He then unsuccessfully ran for sheriff as a write-in candidate and received about 46% of the vote. He previously served as a sheriff’s deputy and sergeant from 1979-1990.
Police Captain Greg Ruskey remains in charge of the BPD. Schlade said he and the rest of the police staff have been doing a “fantastic job” amid the tumult within the department.
In other action on Monday, council approved:
• A change order extending the substantial completion and final completion dates for a road improvement project along two blocks of Parkview Avenue and one block of Belmont Street to Sept. 10 and Oct. 1, respectively. City Engineer Brian Wieland said workers on the project found gas service lines in the area had been buried less than 12 inches deep and had to be relocated by the Ohio Gas Company, causing an approximately five-week delay. In response to a question from council members Judy Yahraus, Wieland said they should have been buried at least three feet deep. Schlade thanked residents in the area for their patience.
• Setting trick or treat for 5-6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30.