Former Akron Police Chief James Nice is suing the City of Akron, Mayor Dan Horrigan, and current Police Chief Ken Ball for defamation of character according to the suit that was filed in U.S. District Court in Akron Tuesday.
In addition the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office is looking to get Nice's guilty plea that was filed in February, tossed out. In the lawsuit, Nice said that he only pleaded guilty attempted unlawful use of property to avoid prosecution for more serious meritless offenses.
The City of Akron released a statement, pointing out that Jim Nice voluntarily resigned his position last August after "serious allegations" of conduct unbecoming an officer. The statement went on to say that "at no point did the City misrepresent any information or mislead the public" regarding those allegations.
Read the full text from the lawsuit and the full response from the City of Akron below:
City of Akron Response:
James Nice voluntarily resigned from the City of Akron on August 27, 2017, following serious allegations that he engaged in conduct unbecoming of a member of the Akron Police Department. When asked to respond to the allegations against him, James Nice chose to resign rather than face disciplinary action. James Nice later pled guilty to a misdemeanor offense related to his criminal misuse of a police database and surrendered his Ohio Peace Officer Training Certification. Throughout this period, the various allegations against James Nice caused the City of Akron and the men and women of the Akron Police Department significant unwanted disruption and embarrassment. At no point did the City misrepresent any information or mislead the public in any way regarding the former Chief’s apparent misconduct.
In 2018, the City of Akron and the Akron Police Department have moved on from that unfortunate chapter and are rightly focused on doing the critically important work of the Department – making Akron’s neighborhoods safer, protecting Akron homes and businesses, and improving the lives of Akron residents through engaged community policing. While it is unfortunate that any additional taxpayer resources will be spent responding to a frivolous lawsuit by the former Chief, the City and Akron Police Department will not be distracted from fulfilling the work the community expects and deserves - responding to the pressing needs and concerns of our citizens and pursuing meaningful solutions to those truly important issues facing our city.