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BCI’s fact finding in misconduct charges is finished

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The fact-finding investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, or BCI, into alleged misconduct by longtime Yellow Springs police officer Dennis Nipper has ended and the results turned over to a prosecutor, according to a spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s office this week. The BCI is a part of the attorney general’s office.

The investigation, which began the end of December and was finished the end of January, was a “relatively short” one for the BCI, according to spokesperson Dan Tierney on Tuesday.

Tierney said he could not comment on the nature of the investigation.

The next step is that a prosecutor reviews the BCI report and decides whether to seek more information, to drop the case for lack of evidence or to present the case to a grand jury, according to Jill Del Greco of the attorney general’s office on Monday. If charges are not filed, the BCI report becomes a public document; however, if they are filed, the document remains confidential until all court proceedings have ended, she said.

The BCI report is being reviewed by Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi, who will make the decision as to whether to file charges, according to Greene County Prosecutor Suzanne Schmidt on Monday. The Greene County Prosecutor’s office requested that Talebi review the BCI report because the Greene County prosecutor has frequent dealings with Yellow Springs police, she said, stating that it’s common for a prosecutor’s office to decline to become involved in cases with a potential conflict of interest. She also said the Greene County prosecutor’s office has not seen the BCI findings. If Talebi of Champaign County decides to press charges, he will present the case to a Greene County jury as a special prosecutor, Talebi said.

On Tuesday Talebi affirmed that he has received the report. He emphasized that he is just beginning the process of reviewing the document and cannot speculate when it will be completed, adding that he is currently busy with other administrative work.

The Nipper investigation began on Dec. 22, when Nipper, reporting to work, was told by Chief Dave Hale that he was being investigated by the BCI and would be on unpaid leave until further notice. Nipper was most recently a part-time officer for the department, where he has been employed for 44 years. Hale said he was not able to disclose the reason for the investigation.

While the BCI has completed its fact-finding process, it did not interview Nipper, according to Nipper’s wife, Jane, this week. Investigators contacted the Nippers’ attorney, but they did not make contact with Nipper. When BCI spokesperson Tierney was asked if this was common practice, he said that he couldn’t comment on the case.

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