LIMA — A former Lima police officer appeared in Allen County Common Pleas Court Thursday in two unrelated cases, one of which cost him his job earlier this year.
Christopher Lemke, 33, of Lima, was fired from the Lima Police Department in May after being indicted by an Allen County grand jury on 12 counts of the unauthorized use of law enforcement automated database system.
Three months later he found himself afoul of the law again after allegedly firing a handgun into the air during a domestic dispute with his estranged wife and holding her briefly against her will.
Lemke appeared with his attorney, Benjamin Eberly, and entered pleas of not guilty to single counts of abduction, a third-degree felony with a firearm specification attached, and one fourth-degree felony count of disrupting public services.
The charges stem from an Aug. 17 incident during which police say their former fellow officer fired his gun into the air and restrained his estranged wife and their children from leaving their property.
Lemke was dismissed from the LPD in May after being indicted by an Allen County grand jury on the improper database use.
Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin at the time said officials had “received a complaint regarding possible criminal activity” on Lemke’s part and that the grand jury “found possible cause to believe that activity had occurred.”
According to the 12-count indictment against Lemke, the veteran police officer “did knowingly gain access to, attempt to gain access to, cause access to be granted to or disseminate information gained from access of the law enforcement automated database system … without the consent of the chair of the law enforcement automated data system steering committee.”
The charges are all felonies of the fifth degree. The incidents allegedly occurred between Jan. 2 and Oct. 16 of 2019, according to the indictment.
A jury trial scheduled for Nov. 3 was continued to a later date.
During Thursday’s hearing Judge Jeffrey Reed set a scheduling conference for Dec. 9 on both cases.
Special prosecutor Todd Schroeder from Putnam County is trying the case for the state.