Former OSHP commander Brian Holt demoted, reassigned

COLUMBUS — Brian Holt, former commander of the Southington Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, has been reassigned to the Canfield Post and demoted from lieutenant to sergeant after an internal-affairs investigation that found wrongdoing in a January crash in Howland involving his wife.

A demotion to sergeant involves a reduction in pay. His demotion was effective June 6. Holt's position as commander at the Southington Post will be filled later.

The investigation found Holt failed to take corrective action on an erroneous court date Trooper Douglas Bolen of his post set for his wife, Letra Holt, regarding a citation she received in the accident on state Route 46.

The court date was incorrect because it was too far out from the citation date, which created a speedy-trial issue at Warren Municipal Court. Speedy trial is the amount of time by law the court has to adjudicate a traffic ticket.

Because the hearing date potentially violated speedy-trial requirements, Letra Holt asked the court in a written filing if the charge could be dismissed, but Judge Terry Ivanchak refused to dismiss the case, and Letra Holt later pleaded guilty.

But Holt, a 27-year patrol veteran, admitted he spoke with Gil Blair, a prosecutor for the court, and discussed filing the motion to dismiss with him.

The internal-affairs investigation showed Holt "exploited" the error by his trooper "in an attempt to have her case dismissed," according to a copy of the June 6 letter to Holt outlining the disciplinary action taken against him.

A verbal reprimand was also issued to Bolen for the erroneous court date. Bolen, who said it was an honest mistake, was not reassigned or given any other sanctions.

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