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IPD officer’s fate could rely on test

The city’s administration is waiting on a test to determine what steps will be taken against a city police officer accused of wrong doing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

The city’s administration is waiting on a test to determine what steps will be taken against a city police officer accused of wrong doing.

IPD officer Lon Hilton was accused of threatening the life of city councilman Bob Vaughn and council candidate James Ridgeway.

As a part of the administrative hearing, Hilton underwent a "Fitness for Duty" test in Akron on Monday, Ironton Mayor Bob Cleary said. Cleary said the test contains several aspects, including a psychological examination.

Results from the test, Cleary said, will be submitted to the city early next week. After that, the mayor said, the city will see what steps will be taken next.

Cleary said the direction the city takes will be directly related to the results of the test.

Criminal charges have also been sought against Hilton by both Vaughn and Ridgeway. Criminal affidavits were sent to the county’s Prosecuting Attorney’s office and it will be up to the Prosecuting Attorney to decide whether or not charges will be brought against the officer, a 12-year veteran of the police department.

The charges result from an alleged altercation outside Ridgeway’s home while Hilton was on duty and was in uniform.

The police officer allegedly came to Ridgeway’s home and told the candidate’s parents to contact Ridgeway and tell him to come home. The candidate was at the home of Vaughn.

Efforts to reach the city councilman and the candidate for city council were unsuccessful. A woman, who refused to give her name, at the home of the council candidate said the candidate wasn’t available for "comment at this time."

Calls were made to Hilton and Vaughn and neither were returned. Vaughn and Ridgeway were both asked by the Tribune to comment on September 7 at the Ironton High School and Gallipolis City School football game. Both of them stated they had no comment and immediately left the area.

Hilton remains on paid administrative leave until the city takes action.