Thursday, October 14, 2004

Milford police chief resigns, halting property misuse case



By Reid Forgrave
Enquirer staff writer

MILFORD - The police chief in this suburban Clermont County city has resigned after city officials asked the county prosecutor to look into allegations that the chief misused city property, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Police Chief Larry C. Lantman, who has been chief since the mid-1990s, was under investigation over allegations that he switched four tires on a police cruiser with four tires on his personal vehicle.

Over the summer, a report on WCPO-TV (Channel 9) brought the case to light.

Clermont County Prosecutor Don White said the chief resigned as White's office was in the midst of its investigation. The investigation will end now that the chief resigned, White said.

"It's a shame for someone to have to end a distinguished career on this note," White said. "The guy did a good job for a number of years, and I don't want to slam this guy. He did a good job for a long time, and he made some mistakes."

White said Lantman, who could not be contacted for comment Wednesday, ran his police department smoothly. He recalled the department helping with a murder investigation not long ago that led to a conviction.

But White did say the prosecuting attorney's office was also looking into another allegation involving Lantman misusing city property.

White did not go into the specifics on the other incident.

One politically active Milford resident said he was upset over Lantman's actions and said the punishment was too lax.

"I would have fired him the first moment I heard about it," said John Aufdenkampe, a former City Council member who remains involved in city government. "Pure, flat and simple, that's theft in office.

"If him resigning is all the punishment he gets out of it, that's not very much for theft in office."

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




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