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Published: Friday, 8/15/2014 - Updated: 1 month ago

Perrysburg Township officer agrees to quit

Department: Man lied to investigators

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Perrysburg Township police officer, following a department investigation, has agreed to resign after allegations that he drank two large margaritas, then drove about 100 mph from a local restaurant to the police department.

Officer Robert Weber resigned from the police force Aug. 8 because of the May incident.

According to police department reports, Mr. Weber met his estranged wife about 8 p.m. on May 26 at El Vaquero Restaurant, 26611 Dixie Hwy., to transfer their three children to her care.

After the exchange, the pair left in separate cars and Mr. Weber’s wife, whose name was omitted from reports, followed him. Mr. Weber told officials he didn’t know why she was following him, but he didn’t want a confrontation so he drove to the Perrysburg Township Police Department.

While driving, Mr. Weber’s wife called the Ohio Highway Patrol, stating that Mr. Weber was intoxicated after drinking at El Vaquero.

Upon arrival at the police department, Mr. Weber told fellow officers he had two drinks and drove 100 mph as his wife was chasing him. Later that night he told state troopers who interviewed him that he had consumed one small drink. Mr. Weber was not charged.

Lt. Jerrod Savidge, commander of the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Bowling Green post, said the Ohio Highway Patrol troopers couldn’t catch up to the car with a reported drunken driver until after he pulled into the Perrysburg Township Police Department.

Mr. Savidge said the patrol doesn’t have jurisdiction on the police department property unless highway patrol officers saw a violation before the driver entered the grounds. That is why the patrol did not conduct a breath or blood test.

Several days later, during an investigation by township police officials, Mr. Weber was interviewed again, and he claimed he had not admitted to driving 100 mph, but that it had felt like he was driving that fast.

Investigators went to El Vaquero and found a bill that showed Mr. Weber had ordered two large strawberry margaritas within 25 minutes. A waitress told them Mr. Weber’s wife had one drink.

The township terminated Mr. Weber on June 10, which was contested by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association. He was making $29.74 a hour.

“His action contributed to putting three children in danger, along with other people in the area at the time of this incident,” said Deputy Chief Michael Gilmore in the investigation report. “If an officer is untruthful in his statements, his ability to be an effective police officer is erased.

“Officer Weber gave two different stories to different people. In this case the most egregious facts are that Officer Weber lied twice directly to investigators and gave a false written statement.”

Police union lawyer Michelle Sullivan thought losing his job was too harsh of a punishment for an off-duty incident for which Mr. Weber was not criminally charged. The union appeal resulted in Mr. Weber being reinstated and resigning.

Mr. Weber had worked for the township since 2003. In his resignation agreement, he agreed to not seek unemployment benefits.

The township agreed it would give Mr. Weber a neutral reference for future employers, would pay him $7,500 for the time from his suspension date June 10 until his resignation Aug. 8, and would not put a report about the investigation in his personnel file.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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