Mayor attempts ouster of Bethel police chief over summer protests

Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 10:56 PM EST
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BETHEL, Ohio (FOX19) - The mayor of Bethel has filed administrative charges against the village’s police chief.

The mayor faults the police chief for not doing a good job during last summer’s protest. The chief responded the mayor is using him as a “scapegoat.”

According to Bethel Police Chief Steve Teague’s lawyers, Mayor Jay Noble has filed 11 administrative charges against the chief over the unrest.

Teague’s attorneys say they do not know the reason Mayor Jay Noble is trying to remove Teague.

The protests touched off in June 2020 toward the end of Cincinnati’s own protests over the death of George Floyd. Protesters and counter protesters gathered, with at least one physical altercation resulting.

The village of 2,700 was put in the region’s media spotlight — and under its microscope.

“If you would’ve asked me a week ago if any of this would come to Bethel, I would’ve said never,” Teague told FOX19 NOW at the time. “I’m still kind of in shock of it being here.”

Teague was put on paid administrative leave after an independent review found issues with how he handled the protests.

The review pointed to his use of force with a stun gun and his overall leadership style over the six person department during the pandemic.

The audit concluded the chief should have requested help from nearby law enforcement agencies because even larger police departments would have been overwhelmed.

Noble has not yet replied to our request for comment.

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