Lexington Municipal Building (copy)

Erin Underwood has resigned from Lexington Village Council.

LEXINGTON -- A seat opened up on Lexington Village Council Monday night when council unanimously approved the resignation of Erin Underwood. 

Underwood, 44, was elected to her second term on council in Nov. 2019. A month later, law enforcement was notified that Underwood sent naked photos of herself to a 17-year-old Lexington student while working as a substitute teacher. 

The Mansfield Police Department handled the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest. Underwood was indicted by a Richland County grand jury in June on three counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, but two of the charges were dropped after she entered a no-contest plea in November.

According to village clerk of courts Brenda Wilson, it’s up to council to approve a replacement for Underwood within 30 days of her resignation. 

“The clock started ticking when we read her resignation letter Jan. 4," she said.

Whoever is appointed will serve through the end of the year. An election will be held in November to fill the remaining two years of Underwood’s four year term.

Anyone over the age of 18 who has resided within village limits for the last 18 months is eligible for the seat.

“It’s a great way to get involved with your community,” Wilson said.

Interested parties can pick up a general employee application at village hall or on the village’s website. They can also send a resume and a brief letter expressing their interest to the village office at 44 W. Main St., Lexington, OH 44904.

Wilson said council plans to interview candidates on Jan. 25. 

Council also approved the hire of James Anderson as a full-time officer for the Lexington Police Department.

Anderson is a 2014 graduate of Lexington High School. He also completed the police academy program at North Central State College.

Anderson began training with the department in August 2019 and was hired as a part time officer in January 2020, Chief Brett Pauley said. 

“James is a great officer. He’s going to be a great addition to our force for many years to come,” Pauley said. “His work ethic is fantastic.”

Anderson said he chose to become a police officer so he could give back to the community.

“I just like to help other people, that’s really all it is,” he said. 

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com