Tiffin, Ohio — The process of selecting Tiffin’s next mayor encountered a roadblock Tuesday after misconduct allegations prompted Zack Perkins to abruptly resign from Tiffin City Council and decline the position of mayor after he was elected to serve in that role just one day prior.
Former Mayor Aaron Montz resigned from office on July 5 to take a new position with the Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership (TSEP) as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer (CEO).
The city’s governing document, known as the municipal charter, outlines the process for selecting a new mayor. Council President Bridget Boyle was sworn-in as the city’s acting mayor the same day as Montz’s resignation. Boyle indicated that she would serve for 30 days as acting mayor, but would not seek to fulfill the remainder of Montz’s term.
Council therefore has until Aug. 4, which is 30 days after Montz’s resignation, to elect a new mayor or it will be up to the presiding judge of the Seneca County Common Pleas Court to choose, according to the charter.
During a special meeting of Tiffin City Council on Monday, July 11, councilmembers eventually elected then-Councilmember Zack Perkins as the city’s next mayor following several rounds of voting.
Shortly after council’s meeting Monday, TiffinOhio.net was alerted to an email message outlining misconduct allegations against Perkins, which was sent to Councilmembers Vickie Wilkins, Ken Jones, and Steve Lepard. In the email message, which can be viewed here, the author said they had witnessed two alleged incidents of misconduct involving Perkins.
While Perkins was working as a fitness supervisor at the YMCA, he was fired for having an affair with an instructor while he was married, the author of the email wrote.
In another incident, the author of the email said Perkins was accused of sexual misconduct by a female employee while he was working in a management role at a local restaurant. Perkins wasn’t fired, so his accuser filed a lawsuit against the restaurant, costing the business a “substantial sum,” according to the email’s author.
Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Perkins announced on social media that he would be resigning from his at-large council seat and declining the position of mayor.
“This should be a great day of celebration for my family and myself. Yet, it has been filled with enormous amounts of negativity and backlash,” Perkins wrote in a post to Facebook.
The process to select a new mayor will now return to Tiffin City Council, which is down two members following the resignations of Perkins and Ben Gillig, who previously announced that he would step down from his council seat effective July 12. Perkins’ seat will be filled by a nomination from the Seneca County Republican Party, and Gillig’s seat will be filled by the Seneca County Democratic Party.
Tiffin City Council has scheduled a special meeting for Thursday, July 14 at 6 p.m. in council chambers at city hall. During the meeting, council is expected to elect a new president pro tempore and discuss how they want to proceed with fulfilling the mayoral vacancy.
TiffinOhio.net reached out to Perkins and multiple councilmembers for comment. No response has been received as of the time this story was published.