Commander accused of domestic violence has retired, OSP announced a day after Tuesday court appearance

Last updated: April 30. 2014 6:16PM - 3864 Views
Civitas News Service

Michael Sanders
Michael Sanders
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Michael A. Sanders, the former commander of the Wilmington Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol who is facing a domestic violence charge, has retired, the OSP reported Wednesday.

Sanders retired, effective April 25, said Sgt. Vincent Shirey, Ohio State Highway Patrol Public Affairs Unit. On Tuesday, Sanders and his Hillsboro attorney, Susan M. Zurface, appeared in Clinton County Municipal Court. Zurface said the patrol was conducting an administrative investigation and she needed time to review that case, but the patrol said Wednesday that its investigation was discontinued because Sanders no longer is a patrol employee.

Fred Beery, the city of Hillsboro’s law director, has been appointed special prosecutor in the domestic violence case. Beery agreed with a request from Zurface to not docket the next hearing for a couple months while Zurface reviewed the OSP’s investigation, but that was before the investigation was discontinued.

Wilmington police charged Sanders on April 18 with domestic violence after a reported disturbance between Sanders and his former wife April 15 on a sidewalk in downtown Wilmington.

A representative from the local Alternatives to Violence Center on Tuesday told Clinton County Municipal Court Judge Chad L. Carey there had been no problems since Carey ordered on April 21 that the alleged victim be taken to a safe haven.

The court prohibited Sanders on April 21 from possessing a firearm while the criminal case was unresolved.

Sanders pleaded not guilty that same day.

He is accused of threatening or causing physical harm to his former wife April 15 on a West Locust Street sidewalk in downtown Wilmington. The reported disturbance occurred shortly after the two left attorneys offices after signing some papers, according to the Wilmington Police Department.

According to a Clinton County Municipal Court affidavit in support of the complaint, Sanders allegedly choked his former wife and threatened to kill her twice during the April 15 incident.

In court on April 21, Wilmington attorney Richard L. Federle Jr., whose office is legal counsel for the former wife, said, “It’s also my understanding Mr. Sanders threatened to shoot one of my [law firm] partners.”

By court order, Sanders is not to possess any firearm while the court case is unresolved. He was on permissive, paid leave from the patrol from the time of his arrest until the Wednesday announcement of his retirement.

Sanders has no prior criminal record, Zurface said.

He was named commander of the Wilmington Post in August 2013 and previously served as the OSHP post commander in Lebanon.

He began his career with the patrol in April 1987.

The next court hearing in the case is currently scheduled for July 9.

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