MANSFIELD — Richland County coroner’s investigator and Butler police Chief Bob Ball was freed on bail Wednesday, one day after being indicted by a special grand jury session.
Ball was charged with five counts of unauthorized use of property, each a fifth-degree felony. He also was charged with three counts of forging identification cards, each a first-degree misdemeanor.
He voluntarily surrendered to the jail Wednesday and was released a few hours later after posting a personal recognizance bond. Ball declined to comment.
Dean Holman, of the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office, is handling the case. He did not return messages Wednesday.
Ball was indicted after a yearlong investigation, according to a news release from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.
“Bob has been a great employee and has worked very hard for Richland County and we’ll just let this whole thing play out,” said Richland County Coroner Dr. Stewart Ryckman said.
Ball is part-time Butler police chief. He was placed on paid leave from the police department April 30, 2011, although Butler officials declined to say why.
Lt. Rod Fry and Lt. Tom Stortz assumed the administrative and supervisory duties of the Butler Police Department on May 1, 2011.
Former Butler Mayor Jeff Sellers said in his written notice to Ball that the leave would continue until further notice, pending the investigation.
According to Richland County sheriff’s records, Butler resident Joan Thompson, 189 College St., filed a theft report April 11, stating: “The complainant alleged of certain information involving misconduct by a public official in Richland County.”
Ball’s name is not on the general offense report. However, Thompson said she filed a report because she has seen the coroner’s cruiser in Butler over the last several years on numerous occasions.