Sam Penrod ReportingA 'no-contest' plea today from the Kamas Police Chief in a case of domestic violence involving his stepdaughter. But will he be able to keep his job?
Errik Ovard resolved this case very quickly by taking the plea in abeyance today; he was just charged last week. But even with the no-contest plea it may very well affect his law enforcement certification, even though he has a lot of support in Kamas.
Errik Ovard came to court to face charges of domestic violence assault and unlawful detention, for an incident between he and his 18-year old stepdaughter on March 3rd. Ovard is accused of getting into a physical altercation with his stepdaughter after he heard she had been driving recklessly.
He attempted to arrest her with handcuffs and at one point is accused of grabbing her by the neck. The woman's boyfriend called 911 and an investigation began.
Branden Miles, Prosecutor: "This was a person who was caught in between being a father and a police officer. Those roles don't mix too well, especially in an emotionally charged situation. In this case it is our position, based on the charges of unlawful detention, that he didn't have authority to detain her at that point."
Gerry E'Lia, Defense Attorney: "He was under the impression that it was an absolute justification for doing so, that it was a violation that was committed within his territory, so he was acting in good faith."
Ovard has been the chief in Kamas for nine years, there is only one other officer in the department.
Ray Jones: "He's doing a good job, he's on leave, but I think he's just doing his job."
Louise Brown: "I think Errik's doing a great and I support him in whatever situation he's had family situation. But I think as police chief he should be re-instated and continue on because he's been good for the valley."
And despite support from the Mayor and City Council, Ovard now faces a review by the Police Officers Standard and Training on whether his certification to be in law enforcement will remain valid. It will likely be several weeks before POST makes a decision on Ovard's future.
For now he remains on administrative leave with the city. He will pay a 150 dollar fine and take an anger management class.