Alomar Davenport

Alomar Davenport speaks during a community meeting on social justice issues on Aug. 26. (Richland Source file photo)

MANSFIELD -- Mansfield City Council candidate Alomar Davenport said Tuesday he plans to soon have a date and location for a second public forum to discuss the relationship between city police and the black community.

Davenport pleaded guilty Tuesday to driving without an operator's license, amended from the original charge of driving with a suspended license, according to Mansfield Municipal Court records.

He was fined $50 and assessed $125 in court costs.

The resolution came after a pre-trial session was conducted on Monday.

The 42-year-old Davenport, a Democratic candidate in the city's 4th Ward, was cited for the misdemeanor infraction on Aug. 15, a car stop that resulted in two officers pulling their guns. A second charge of an improper turn was dismissed on Tuesday.

During the incident, the officers pulled their guns, though never raised them, when they mistook a silver pen in the console of Davenport's vehicle for the slide of a handgun.

Davenport arranged for a well-attended public forum on the social justice topic Aug. 26 at the Ocie Hill Neighborhood Center. Mansfield police declined to participate in the meeting after the city law director's office said they could not while the criminal case against Davenport was still pending.

At the time, Davenport said he understood the MPD decision and said a second forum would be scheduled when his case was concluded.

"I want to emphasize this is not a Mansfield Police Department decision (not to attend). The Mansfield Police Department and Chief Porch are on board with what we're trying to do," Davenport said at the time. "They want to be involved with what we are trying to do. But because it's an ongoing case, it has come down from the law director they cannot be involved."

On Tuesday, Davenport said efforts for the second forum are now underway.

"We hope to have a date and location secured by the end of business tomorrow," he said.

In August, Mansfield police Chief Keith Porch said police intend to have a dialogue with Davenport and others in the community once the case concludes.

"We fully support Mr. Davenport's open dialogue with community members regarding this incident ... but the Mansfield Police Department will not be involved until his case is resolved," Porch said at the time.

According to Franklin County Municipal Court records, Davenport has also resolved the issues there that led to his license suspension.

Court records in Columbus showed a bench warrant for his arrest was issued on June 21 after he failed to appear or pay fines from being ticketed on May 11 by police for an alleged U-turn and unsafe lane change on North High Street.

Davenport was due in court in Columbus on May 14 and the failure to appear was added on May 22, the same day the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicle records show his license was suspended.

Court records show Davenport on Sept. 9 paid $282 in fines and court costs for those infractions.

Davenport had been unopposed on the Nov. 5 ballot. Since the incident, two residents in the 4th Ward have filed with the Richland County Board of Elections as write-in candidates.

Brenda Collins-Vaughn, 469 Howard St., and Gerald Strouth, 516 Bryden Road, are now seeking to win the 4th Ward seat.

(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Davenport pleaded guilty to driving with a suspended license. The charge was amended to driving without an operator's license.)

Support Our Journalism

Do you want to know the who, what, where, why and how in local news? Become a Source member to support the most diverse coverage of our region.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"