ARCANUM — Arcanum Police Chief Andrew Ashbaugh has been placed on paid administrative leave involving allegations of an undisclosed nature regarding a female subject.
A Village of Arcanum press release stated, “During the morning of March 4, 2019, the Village of Arcanum was made aware of an investigation being conducted by the Darke County Sheriff’s Department involving current Arcanum Police Chief Andrew Ashbaugh. After a meeting with the Darke County Sheriff’s Department in the afternoon of March 4, 2019, the Village of Arcanum chose to place Police Chief Ashbaugh on paid administrative leave until the conclusion of the Darke County Sheriff’s Department investigation and the internal investigation.”
The exact nature of the allegation or allegations against Ashbaugh have not been disclosed. Ashbaugh has served as village police chief since June 2014.
Arcanum Village Council went into executive session during its Tuesday night meeting. Following closure of executive session, council heard from concerned residents, including the parents of the alleged female victim.
The mother of the victim told council the police chief’s behavior was “unacceptable.”
“Because of his behavior, I’ve lost all faith in the ability to be served and protected by him in this community,” she said. “This has directly affected us and it has been pretty upsetting.”
The victim’s father told council the couple had “lost all faith in the police department.”
Another resident asked council, “Does anybody do background checks, or investigate, people that are hired as officers in this community? Because every single person on that department, you guys had better start looking at them.”
“The people that are here, they have daughters in this community, and they also have concerns about the safety of their daughters, their nieces, and their friends,” said one woman at the meeting. “Girls are paranoid about being pulled over by an Arcanum Police officer.”
Arcanum Mayor Greg Baumle thanked the residents for voicing their concerns.
“They’re duly noted. Thank you for coming,” he said, further noting that Arcanum Police Sergeant Timothy Zellers will serve as interim police chief during the investigations.
No one at the meeting, including members of council, was willing to go on record as to the specific allegations being leveled at Ashbaugh.
The Daily Advocate has reached out to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office for further information.
The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.