Tiffin Police Chief Fred Stevens, a Republican candidate in the March primary election for Seneca County Sheriff, is speaking out after an image of a document accusing him of domestic violence years ago began circulating on social media this week.
“This is yet another sad attempt from my opponent to smear my good character and try to cast doubt on my integrity and stellar military and law enforcement career,” Stevens said. “This should tell you everything about who my opponent is and what David Pahl would do IF he was elected Sheriff of Seneca County.”
The document came from the Toledo Municipal Court, showing Stevens had been accused of domestic violence back in 1990 while married to a woman in what he described as a “military marriage.”
“We both were young and had issues. I wished her well then and still do now. I am happy that I found my current wife of 28+ years. I want to state categorically that I never committed nor was I convicted of Domestic Violence,” Stevens said in a statement.
Supporters of Pahl have been posting and sharing the image on social media over the past week, according to posts reviewed by TiffinOhio.net News.
“I chose to leave our marriage on July 4th, 1990 and while packing up the car she was yelling at me and standing in front of the car stating that she wouldn’t let me leave. She also stated that she would end my future career of wanting to become a police officer by calling the police and telling them I hit her. I knew I had witnesses outside who were watching so I paid it no attention and left,” Stevens said. “I moved to Bowling Green with my sister and I was working at Wood County Juvenile Detention Center and weeks later I found that she had made a report of Domestic Violence against me with the Toledo Police Department claiming I ‘hit’ her with the car when I left.”
Stevens said he obtained an attorney and “answered the charge.”
“After her recanting her initial claim it was decided by the judge that he would issue what is called a peace bond,” Stevens continued. “I was actually hired by the Toledo Police Department at the same time I was hired by the Tiffin Police Department. I ended up choosing Tiffin PD because this is where I wanted to raise a family and have a career,” Stevens said. “Both departments looked through my background and reviewed the same thing that is trying to be used against me today. Both agencies had zero issues with it because it is not a domestic violence on my record.”
Stevens accused his leading opponent in the Republican primary race for sheriff, current Captain David Pahl, of orchestrating the circulation of the document on social media.
“This is just another last minute attempt to smear me because my opponent has nothing to run on. No experience in any of the crucial roles that it takes to lead a department, no leadership or advanced police schooling, no executive training in any of the roles that would make our county less liable for the multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the Sheriff’s office and no experience with writing or implementing policies and procedures,” Stevens said.
Stevens said he “truly hopes” the voters of Seneca County will “see through this thinly veiled attempt at smearing me,” adding that he is “appalled that someone who wants to hold a position of authority is trying to do so without integrity, without character, and without thought of how you are trying to obtain that office.”
Pahl could not be reached for comment as of Wednesday morning.
The primary election will take place March 17.