Township mulls motor vehicle tax; also, pre-disciplinary hearing

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A Madison Township public hearing on Oct. 8 regarding a potential motor vehicle tax ended with no feedback from the public.

The hearing was the first of two required by the state in order for the township to begin collecting the $5 tax next year. If approved, car owners would start paying the tax when they buy new license plates or renew old ones after July 1, 2020.

Estimates by the state project future revenue at $80,000 for the township’s roads and bridges fund.

“The permissive motor vehicle tax is only for the unincorporated areas of the township,” said Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst.

A final hearing was scheduled for Oct. 16. The trustees are expected to vote on the tax at their Nov. 12 meeting.

Police pre-disciplinary hearing
A pre-disciplinary hearing for Madison Township Police Officer Matthew Kidwell will be held Oct. 22.

Kidwell and fellow Madison Township Police Officer Josie Grashel were placed on paid administrative leave for alleged misconduct following an incident they were involved in, while they were off duty, in the parking lot of BW3 in Canal Winchester around 2 a.m. on Aug. 10.

The trustees reviewed the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office report on the incident. On Oct. 8, the trustees accepted Grashel’s resignation effective the same day and approved the denial of motions to quash filed by Kidwell, Grashel and Kristen Didyk after subpoenas were issued to the three officers on Oct. 1 for information germane to Kidwell’s pending internal investigation.

Kidwell was ordered to immediately produce to the trustees the content of his text communications to Grashel and/or Didyk from July 1, 2019 to Sept. 24, 2019. The order includes production of all records showing the timing of deletion of any text messages between Kidwell, Grashel and/or Didyk. He was also ordered to preserve electronically stored information that may contain evidence important to Kidwell’s employment, internal investigation, and possible discipline/termination, along with all emails and social media data regarding communications with Grashel and Didyk from July 1 through Sept. 24.

Also included is the preservation of electronic information from any computers or cell phones between the beginning of July and the present time. No data from any device in Kidwell’s possession is to be altered or deleted in any way.

Township officials said police protection for township residents will not suffer as the police department will continue to have a minimum two officers on duty per shift as usual. Franklin County Sheriff deputies will continue to assist in emergency situations.

“As for minimum officers per shift, that remains the same,” said Madison Township Police Commander Tom Schleppi. “We’re covered. We’re giving the same level of service as before.”

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