Cridersville councilor submits letter of resignation

CRIDERSVILLE — A vacancy exists on Cridersville Village Council following the sudden resignation Monday of first-term councilman Frank Oen.

Mayor Rick Walls confirmed a letter of resignation was received by the village from Oen on Monday. Oen’s photograph had been removed from the village’s official website by Tuesday morning.

Walls declined to discuss the nature of Oen’s letter or his reasons for resigning until council meets in regular session next Monday evening.

“I think they (council members) should have the opportunity to see the letter before I release anything publicly,” Walls said. He did express his belief that Oen, who has completed three years of a four-year term, opted to leave the council “because things didn’t work out like he expected.”

According to council minutes, Oen attended a special council meeting in October but was absent from the regularly scheduled November meeting due to pink eye.

A review of monthly council minutes showed that Oen appeared to be frustrated earlier this year about a personnel change in the village police department. At the Sept. 14 council meeting, Oen asked Police Chief Paul Robbins why Officer Matt Brushaber had been fired and why it had not been discussed, according to the minutes of that meeting. Brushaber was terminated May 20, according to the minutes, for what was described by Robbins as “conduct unbecoming an officer.” Oen asked the police chief for an incident report, and Robbins responded that there wasn’t one “because there was no victim or anything for which an incident report was needed.”

The official minutes of council’s June meeting show that council voted 6-0, after meeting in executive session, to promote part-time police officer Nick Rayoum to a full-time officer.

Attempts by The Lima News to reach Oen on Tuesday were not successful.

Walls said he hopes to have the vacant, non-partisan seat filled by the time 2021 rolls around.

“We will advertise, asking any interested residents to submit their resumes. Then council will interview the applicants and make their decision” on who will fill the seat, the mayor said.

Oen ran for mayor of the village in 2019 but was defeated by Walls.

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By J Swygart

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