Former OH police chief pleads guilty to drug count

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ATHENS, Ohio (AP) -- A former southeastern Ohio police chief has pleaded guilty to permitting drug abuse and will surrender his badge as part of a plea agreement.

The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/IrcqF2) former Buchtel (BOOK'-tuhl) police chief Kelsie Lanning pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of permitting drug abuse. The 33-year-old was arrested in February after police said he gave his girlfriend money he knew was being used to illegally buy prescription medication.

A plea agreement includes no jail time but 80 hours of community service. Lanning also can no longer be a police officer under the deal. He had also held a part-time job with New Straitsville Police.

The newspaper reports Lanning's girlfriend faces multiple drug-related felonies from the Feb. 15 arrest.

Lanning's attorney did not immediately return a message Thursday.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com