Austintown Township Trustee Steve Kent, embroiled in criminal and civil legal battles, has stepped down as that board’s chairperson.

At Monday night’s trustee's meeting, Kent made a motion to resign the chairmanship, only saying that it was a mutual decision among all three trustees.

Kent has been under fire since being charged with sexual battery involving a minor at the school where he worked as a resource officer and after a teenager recently filed a civil lawsuit against him.

While the trustees have no authority to remove an elected official, fellow trustee Monica Deavers said they hope this sends a message to the community.

“I hope it shows that we care and that we are all working together and that’s what we need for Austintown,” said Deavers. “It was a mutual agreement, and it went very well. It was very understanding”

Deavers was named the new chairperson. Kent will still remain a trustee while the legal process plays out.