Zachary Miller

Officer Zachary Miller

MANSFIELD -- Former Mansfield Police Officer Zachary Miller gave his letter of resignation to the department on Tuesday, chief Ken Coontz confirmed on Wednesday.

Miller, 28, was placed on leave Oct. 6 for alleged misconduct which occurred while he was off duty, according to the department. Miller was sworn in as a probationary officer in January of 2016.

The Richland County Prosecutor's office said there will be no charges filed in connection with the alleged misconduct.

"Our office does not condone the behavior outlined by the allegations," Jodie Schumacher, the first attorney for the Richland County Prosecutor said. "However, we are duty-bound, and have to follow the law as decided by Ohio General Assembly and interpreted by the Ohio Supreme Court."

No details were given about the alleged behavior. While it was not illegal, MPD said it violated the department's ethics and the city of Mansfield's polices, sited in section 8.04 , group 3, No. 24:

"Soliciting or accepting a gift, gratuity, bribe or reward for private use of the employee, or otherwise using one's position, identification, name, photograph, or title for personal gain or otherwise violating the city's code of ethics or Ohio's laws for public employees (inefficiency, neglect of duty, failure of good behavior, misfeasance of malfeasance)" is a reason for termination.

According to Miller's personnel file, there were multiple disciplinary incidents reported during his tenure with the Mansfield Police Department.

On March 2, 2018 Miller was involved in a car crash. It was alleged that his car struck a mailbox and caused damage to the mailbox and to his personal vehicle. Miller allegedly fled the scene of the crash and was later contacted by Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers, according to a notice of pre-disciplinary conference. He was given a citation related to the crash. 

Miller was charged with Hit-Skip and Failure to Control in relation to the crash from the OSHP. He was ultimately convicted of Reckless Operations, and given a fine of $150. Alcohol and prescription medication had been taken prior to the crash, according to a notice of disciplinary order.  

"Officer Miller showed poor judgment and engaged in conduct that was unbecoming of a police officer, and reflected discredit upon himself and the department," the report stated.

He served a suspension without pay from April 30 until May 2.

On another notice of pre-disciplinary order, Miller had a violation of unsatisfactory performance with his K9 Unit duties. 

According to the form, Miller was assigned to the K9 unit with his canine partner, Dani. He struggled with narcotics detection and bite work to the point of failure with Dani. 

"Officer Miller has failed to sign out narcotic training aids as instructed by the K-9 officer," the description of the violation said. "It has been recommended by the K-9 officer that officer Zach Miller be removed from the K-9 unit."

In addition, his personnel file detailed oral counseling from his supervisors, which Miller acknowledged with his signature. 

Miller was also cited for a violation on Dec. 30, 2016.

According to the citation, Officer Cikity placed a suspect's cell phone on the hood of his marked police cruiser while Miller searched though a suspect's purse, according to a Record of Oral Counseling. Miller was asked by Cikity to place the phone back in the suspect's purse, and Miller acknowledged.

After completing the search, Miller forgot to place the cell phone in the purse and it remained on the hood, eventually falling off the vehicle during the transport of the suspect to the jail.

The necessary corrective action section of the form stated Miller took responsibility of the phone even though he did not place the phone on the hood of the cruiser.

The counseling was considered a way to correct behavior to steer Miller towards better performance.

Miller was also was given counseling for failing to arrive on time for work. He was scheduled to work at 3 p.m. on May 27. He called at 3:18 p.m. saying he overslept. He arrived at 3:30 p.m. according to his personnel record.

Miller, who grew up in Mansfield just outside of Lexington and graduated from Madison in May, 2008, served as a firefighter for Washington Township for 6 1/2 years. His most recent job was a 911 dispatcher for Richland County, a position he held for one year, prior to being sworn in to the police department.

Staff Reporter

Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.

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