September 22, 2011

Hartsel aquitted in jury trial

Hudson City Manager Steve Hartsel was aquitted of charges stemming from an incident where a motorist thought she saw Hartsel exposing himself in a passing vehicle in Adrian.

The jury only took two hours to acquit Hartsel on the charges after a three day trail, during which much time was spent arguing over the admissibility of expert testimony on whether the woman could have actually seen what she claimed to see, considering the positions of the vehicles. There were also  questions about the police report filed by the Adrian Police Department.

The prosecutor claimed that a statement made in questioning by Hartsel appeared to admit guilt. However, the the defense charged that the statement was ambiguous and did not represent any admission of guilt.

The Hudson City Council in February decided to keep Hartsel on in spite of the charges, since no guilty finding had been made.

“I thought it was important that it took the jury less than two hours to decide that I was not guilty,” Hartsel said. “There were   significant inconsistencies from the complaintant and the investigating officer. I don’t think anybody found any inconsistencies in my testimony.”

Hartsell said he was glad to have the long ordeal over with.