Long-time Butler County zoning official resigns amid corruption allegations

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Madison Twp. Trustee Alan Daniel has resigned his seat on the county zoning appeals board after allegations of corruption because he voted on a case that benefited his family.

In a letter to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson dated Oct. 25, Daniel apologized.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Butler County for so many years. I have always tried to do my best to make decisions that were in the best interests of the County and its residents, and I believe I have done some good along the way,” Daniel wrote.

“I am sorry for the trouble caused by the vote in which I participated in February of this year, and I can assure you I would make a different decision knowing the problems it has caused.”

Madison Twp. Trustee Alan Daniel

Madison Twp. Trustee Alan Daniel
Madison Twp. Trustee Alan Daniel

Several township residents filed a formal complaint with the commissioners asking them to remove Daniel from the Board of Zoning Appeals, on which he has held a seat since July 1993. The commissioners scheduled a public hearing on the matter for Nov. 1, but the meeting has been canceled on the commissioners’ website.

ExploreButler County commissioners to hold public hearing on removing zoning official

The complaint alleges Daniel voted on several zoning variances for properties his son, Todd Daniel, owned at the corner of Keister and Middletown Germantown roads, clearing the way for a new Dollar General store.

“Mr. Daniel’s refusal to recuse himself from consideration of this application constituted a clear conflict of interest,” the complaint reads. “His action constituted an abuse of his office, an abuse of the public trust and a clear case of misconduct in office.”

Todd Daniel told the Journal-News previously the property had sold but wouldn’t comment further on the sale. Chief Deputy Recorder Denise Goll told the Journal-News the property was sold for $250,000 and recorded on Oct. 20 to CD DG Germantown, LLC. She said the new mortgage on the property is nearly $1.5 million.

Township resident Bret Frank came to the May 3 commissioners meeting seeking their help. He said the community was not apprised of the impending Dollar General development and most do not want it.

Frank and the other neighbors have also filed a lawsuit in federal court over the matter. Frank declined to comment on either the resignation or the lawsuit.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident after receiving a bribery complaint earlier in the summer, according to Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer.

“A complaint was lodged with us about Alan’s activities and it was alleged that it was a bribery, some quid pro quo and money involved, that was the original complaint,” Dwyer told the Journal-News previously. “That started our investigation which led to multiple interviews and recovering documents. We’ve been in touch with our local prosecutor’s office as well as forwarding information the (Ohio) Ethics Commission. Pending the finality of that will just maintain it as an open case.”

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