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Highway Patrol commander demoted for handling of wife's traffic ticket

Lt. Brian Holt was demoted to sergeant, which included a reduction of pay

(WKBN) - A former lieutenant and commander of Warren's Ohio State Highway Patrol post has been demoted and disciplined for his inappropriate handling of his wife's traffic citation, according to investigators. 

Lt. Brian Holt was demoted to sergeant, which included a reduction of pay, after an internal investigation by the Highway Patrol. He was also transferred to the Canfield post. 

According to his personnel records, Holt was found to have exploited an error on his wife's traffic citation after a fender bender in order to have her case dismissed.

Trooper Doug Bolen failed to set a court date for Holt's wife in a timely manner, according to the files. 

The date of the citation was January 18 while the date to appear in court was not set until March 1. Holt's wife was cited after hitting the back end of another vehicle on State Route 46 in Howland, according to the citation. 

Instead of trying to correct his subordinate's mistake, Warren District Commander Capt. Eric Sheppard wrote that Holt contacted a prosecutor and used his position in an attempt to get information regarding the filing of a motion to dismiss his wife's case due to a speedy trial issue.

During an investigative interview, Holt said "he did not at any time manipulate this situation using his position as a post commander, but he acted as a husband," according to documents on the case.

Those conducting the internal investigation found Holt to be in violation of Highway Patrol rules, specifically "conduct unbecoming of an officer" and "responsibility of command." 

Trooper Bolen was also charged with a violation of performance of duty for the error. He received a written reprimand. 

Lt. Robert Sellers notes that the ticket was ultimately resolved. Holt's wife pleaded guilty to the assured clear distance violation in court, according to records. 

A new Warren Post Commander will be selected at a later date.

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