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Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Policeman charged with drunken driving

Accident, alleged assault also under investigation

By Janie Southard
ST. MARYS - A 10-year veteran of the St. Marys Police Department has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) following a minor traffic accident early Sunday morning. Following the accident deputies were called to the officer's residence on a possible assault. Both incidents are under investigation.
Officer Andrew T. Liming, 37, was charged with OVI in an off-duty incident that occurred at the intersection of Feeder Road and state Route 364, according to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Liming's vehicle was stopped at a stop sign when Shelly Wheeler, 42, of St. Marys, allegedly struck Liming's vehicle from behind, the report says.
The incident was reported at 1 a.m. Sunday through a 1-800-GRAB-DUI call to the St. Marys Police Department. The incident was turned over to the state patrol due to the involvement of the St. Marys police officer.
Both vehicles contained passengers, but only Liming claimed a possible back injury, according to the patrol's report.
Wheeler was charged with failure to maintain assured clear distance.
Liming was charged with OVI due to evidence at the scene, according to Sgt. Rick Albers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. No breath test was offered to Liming.
"(Liming) attempted to take a field sobriety test, but was unable to follow directions correctly. There was also an odor of alcohol about him," Albers said.
Liming is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of his appearance in court Wednesday.
A second incident was reported later and involved an assault at Liming's home. Specific details on the assault were not released.
In a news release this morning from Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon, deputies were called to Liming's residence at 2:56 a.m. Sunday to investigate an assault. The sheriff's office was called due to "one of the persons involved being a St. Marys police officer."
St. Marys Police Chief Greg Foxhoven told the newspaper this morning that the second incident "appeared" to be connected to the first.
"These are not our investigations. It is a sensitive issue at this point and not appropriate for me to comment further," Foxhoven said.
Solomon said the matter will be turned over to investigators with another county sheriff's department.
"We did the initial, but whenever the (incident) involves an agency we work hand in hand with, like St. Marys, we throw it to an outside agency. That way people do not get the impression there is a conflict of interest," the sheriff said.
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