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Published: Tuesday, 7/25/2006

Pemberville again selects police chief

PEMBERVILLE, Ohio - Jeff Molnar has been the interim Pemberville police chief three times during his seven years with the department.

But at a special meeting last night, Pemberville Village Council voted 4-0 to promote the sergeant to police chief on Aug. 14 - a day after Chief Jeff Pawlecki's resignation takes effect.

Councilmen Mark Mullholand and David Miesmer were absent.

Chief Pawlecki, 29, of Perrysburg, had been on the job just 11 days before submitting a letter of resignation to Mayor James Opelt on July 15. Council accepted his resignation last Tuesday after Chief Pawlecki said the job "wasn't the right fit" for him.

"I was dumbfounded," Mayor Opelt said of Chief Pawlecki's quick resignation. "We were all just shocked and surprised."

Sergeant Molnar, 31, of Toledo, was given a one-year contract and will be paid $45,000 a year. He has been a sergeant with the department for three years, and has been a police officer for eight years.

The vote to promote Sergeant Molnar was taken after a 25-minute closed-door executive session to discuss the position with him. Before that, council entertained questions and comments for about an hour from a dozen residents in the audience regarding the police chief's position. Many said they wondered why Sergeant Molnar hadn't been promoted to the position in the past.

"He's dedicated to the village," said resident Scott Kaminski.

When he takes over, the new chief will be in charge of a department that has one other full-time employee, five part-time employees, and a large auxiliary.

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