A Butler County grand jury indicted a longtime elected official Wednesday on seven public corruption-related charges.
Madison Township Trustee Alan Daniel is facing three felony counts of having an unlawful interest in a public contract and four misdemeanor counts of using or authorizing the use of the authority or influence of office to secure anything of value, court records show.
The charges allege Daniel’s participation as a voting member of the Butler County Board of Zoning Appeals ‒ from which he has recently resigned ‒ and his participation as a voting member of the Board of Madison Township Trustees benefited him personally and/or a member of his family, according to a joint statement from Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones and Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.
Daniel, 76, has been an elected Madison Township Trustee for 29 years. The investigation leading to the indictment was conducted by the Butler County Sheriff working in cooperation with the investigation and referral for prosecution by the Ohio Ethics Commission, both of whom worked on the investigation over the past year, the statement said.
Enquirer Media partner Fox 19 reported The Butler County Sheriff’s Office launched the probe in July 2021 after the agency received an anonymous complaint about “corruption” related to Daniel, according to a copy of an incident report. The case was ultimately referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission, which made a referral to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office for criminal charges.
State Auditor Keith Faber referred several votes Daniel cast as a trustee that Faber said directly impacted a family member and were related to the township’s road department to the Ohio Ethics Commission for further review, according to Fox 19. Daniel voted on 20 road department ordinances in 2018 and 15 in 2019 “from which he should have abstained because he is the father of Road Supervisor Todd Daniel,” Faber recently wrote Madison Township officials.
The auditor also referred 26 votes to the ethics commission for further review that were cast in 2018 and 2019 by former trustee Thomas Hall, whose father is the fire chief, state records show. Faber recommended Hall abstain from voting on issues impacting the fire department in general.
Daniel declined to comment on the charges and also declined to refer to an attorney to speak on his behalf.
Sheriff Jones told Fox 19 on Wednesday the investigation is not ending with Daniel’s indictment.
“There’s been complaints made about the state auditor’s office pertaining to Al Daniel and a past trustee as far as irregularities into votes on ordinances pertaining to family members. We have been in contact with the Ethics Commission,” Jones said.
“Al Daniel gets his day in court. I feel sorry for all the people of Madison Township who have to live and put up with these types of actions by the trustees and past trustees,” the sheriff said. “This is what happens when everybody’s family members all work at the same place and they are elected.”
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Former Butler County elected official indicted on corruption charges