In December, Daniel’s attorney Chris Pagan filed a motion to have two of the misdemeanor charges — use or authorize the use of authority or influence of office to secure anything of value — dismissed.
Pagan said the alleged crime of Daniel voting as a trustee on the raise of his son employed by the township occurred outside the two-year statute of limitations for misdemeanor charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Garrett Baker responded stating the defense was incorrect in stating the law noting the statute of limitations is different for public servant.
“(Ohio Revised Code) renders the general two-year statute of limitations for misdemeanor offenses inapplicable in cases involving misconduct in office where the defendant is a public servant,” Baker wrote in the response. “Because the offenses in count two and four are allegations of misconduct in office, and because the defendant is a public servant, the motion to dismiss should be denied.”
Judge Greg Stephens has not made a decision on the motion. Daniel is free on his own recognizance and scheduled to be back in court Feb. 6.
Daniel has been an elected Madison Twp. trustee for approximately 29 years. The investigation leading to the indictment was conducted by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the investigation and referral for prosecution by the Ohio Ethics Commission. Both entities worked on the investigation for more than a year.
An audit was released in July that was critical of the township’s finances, including citations that two trustees had improperly voted on legislation that involved relatives.
The audit said Daniel voted on 36 road department ordinances in 2018 and 2019 when he should have abstained because his son Todd Daniel is road supervisor.
Last year, a complaint was filed with the Butler County Sheriff’s Office alleging 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.
Daniel held the mortgage on the two properties in question that were owned by his son at the time of the BZA vote. If he had not participated in the vote it would not have passed for lack of a quorum on the board.