The former chief of Newton Falls police is facing a criminal charge related to his handling of a traffic stop in December of 2020. 

Gene Fixler, along with former Trumbull county sheriff's deputy and Newton Falls police officer Dallas Young, are both facing one count each of misdemeanor dereliction of duty. 

The charges were filed on Friday in Newton Falls municipal court, exactly two years to the day from the alleged incident. 

According to the complaints, they alleged offenses are based on an investigative report compiled by the Trumbull county sheriff's department. 

On December 2, 2020, Fixler was first on the scene of a traffic stop  in Braceville  and observed a possibly impaired individual. The incident was outside the Newton Falls jurisdiction and Young, who was then a Trumbull county deputy,  was called to the scene. The deputy then cleared the man to drive without arrest.  , Fixler said he was in his car making a phone call at the time the deputy released the individual but "agreed with this assessment" and said the individual was "tired and not impaired."
 About ten minutes later, the driver was involved in a fatal two car accident and a toxicology report showed a potentially lethal amount of narcotics in the driver's system at the time of the crash. 
Fixler maintained that he believed the driver used drugs after the stop, not before, although a report indicated there was evidence of drugs at the scene of the stop. 
After Young was dismissed from the sheriff's department, Fixler hired him onto the Newton Falls police department, calling him "an excellent officer." 
Under Ohio law, if convicted, Fixler and Young could face up to 90 days in jail and fines up to $750 .