Cridersville council to discuss fate of member charged with alcohol-related offense

By J Swygart -



CRIDERSVILLE — Cridersville Mayor Rick Walls will meet with members of the village council and its legal representative early next month to discuss the future of one member of the town’s legislative body who was released from jail last week following his second alcohol-related citation in two years.

Village Councilman Paul Lynch, 46, of 403 Reichelderfer Road, Cridersville, left the Allen County jail on Nov. 12 after serving a 10-day sentence handed down by Lima Municipal Court Judge David Rodabaugh.

According to court records, Lynch was cited June 11 by troopers from the Lima Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. On Nov. 2 Lynch pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of physical control and was sentenced to 10 days in jail. He was also fined $600 and court costs and placed on community control.

Lynch was cited for OVI in 2017 by the state patrol. He pleaded no contest on May 5 and was found guilty by the court. Lynch was sentenced to five days in jail, with all five suspended. He was also fined $500.

Court records show Lynch was cited for speeding in Allen County in 1991 and 2003 and in Auglaize County for the same charge in 2001.

Walls was aware of Lynch’s most recent legal woes and said a meeting to discuss the incident would be held among city officials in early December, which he said was as quickly as all members could convene.

Police chief update

In unrelated news, Walls said the Ohio Attorney General’s Office has indicated that the ongoing case against Cridersville Police Chief John Drake could also be coming to a head.

Drake has been on paid administrative leave since Aug. 2 following what Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon at the time said were reports alleging “misconduct of a public official” in Cridersville

Lt. Brian Creech was named by Walls as acting chief of police, pending the results of the unspecified investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Solomon said his office was notified of a “possible issue” involving Drake, setting in motion the wheels for an outside investigation. BCI was called in to investigate, the sheriff said, “due to the potential conflict of interest” that could arise if Auglaize County authorities conducted the probe. Drake has worked in concert with the sheriff’s office on several occasions in the past, Solomon said.

The mayor said Tuesday that representatives from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have indicated that “we should hear something in the next two weeks or so.”


By J Swygart

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

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