MUNROE FALLS — The Cuyahoga Falls Law Department has been asked by Munroe Falls Mayor James Armstrong to investigate a one-vehicle, no-injury crash involving Munroe Falls Police Chief Jerry Hughes that occurred the afternoon of Nov. 2.

The crash was addressed during the City Council meeting on Nov. 7. Hughes was not at the meeting, but in response to an email inquiry from Councilman Mike Barnes (At Large) on Nov. 6, the chief said he was involved in the accident, which caused damage to his city vehicle.

"I will provide a copy of the accident report to Mayor Armstrong for his review," wrote Hughes to Barnes on Nov. 6. "There were no injuries and no other persons involved."

"[Chief Hughes] had a minor accident," said Council member Chris Ritzinger (Ward 2). "He ran over a rock."

Armstrong said the cost to repair the chief’s vehicle is $202.

Kostoff said he suggested to Armstrong that "in the interest of transparency . . . [that he] refer the matter to the city of Cuyahoga Falls Law Department so that an independent investigation can be conducted."

Since the investigation is "pending," Kostoff said he would not offer any further comment and referred additional questions to the Cuyahoga Falls Law Department.

In a Nov. 7 letter he sent to Cuyahoga Falls Law Director Russ Balthis, Armstrong said that the city's rules and regulations say that if an accident involves city personnel, the accident report is forwarded to the Cuyahoga Falls Prosecutor's Office "for a determination on charges."

"…I believe for purposes of transparency that our existing rules must be followed," Armstrong wrote to Balthis.

Balthis did not provided a requested copy of the accident report by press time. 

pkeren@recordpub.com

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