Huber Heights city manager pleads guilty to OVI charge, gets probation

Huber Heights City Manager Rick Dzik will spend the next two years on probation after he was convicted Monday of a drunken driving charge in Knox County.

Dzik, 42, pleaded guilty Monday in Mount Vernon Municipal Court to operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A second charge, a left of center traffic citation, was dismissed, according to online court records.

In addition to two years of community control sanctions, Judge John Thatcher imposed $640 in court fines and costs and sentenced Dzik to 180 days in jail with all but three days suspended for a 72-hour driver intervention program. As part of his probation, the judge ordered Dzik to attend one Alcoholics Anonymous meeting a week; to not refuse any request by a unformed law enforcement officer or Mount Vernon probation officer for a blood, breath or urine test; and to not violate any laws. His driver’s license also was suspended for one year, court records show.

Dzik, who started his job with the city in September 2023, was driving a Jeep owned by the city of Huber Heights when he was arrested around noon May 19 in the central Ohio city of Mount Vernon, where he had worked as safety service director (the equivalent of city manager) until last fall.

Dzik is on paid administrative leave amid an internal investigation. John Russell, a fire battalion chief for the Huber Heights Fire Division, is serving as interim city manager.

Credit: Aimee Hancock

Credit: Aimee Hancock

According to a report from the Mount Vernon Police Department, an officer spotted the gray Jeep swerve inside the lane and go on the yellow center line briefly. When the officer activated the overhead emergency light for a traffic stop, Dzik did not immediately stop, so the officer “chirped” the siren multiple times before the Jeep turned and came to a stop.

Dzik told the officer he had a couple beers, and the officer noted Dzik had glassy eyes and slow speech, the report stated.

In police body camera video, the officer said based on his training, Dzik appears to have consumed more alcohol than that, to which Dzik replied in part, “It’s been a long weekend.”

A second officer arrived to assist with the traffic stop, and Dzik agreed to field sobriety tests.

“When Dzik stepped out of the vehicle, I could smell the odor of alcohol coming from his person,” the second officer wrote in the report.

During the heel-toe walk of the sobriety test, the video showed that Dzik appeared to lose his balance at least twice. He also appeared to have trouble following instructions and maintaining balance, particularly during a one-leg stand test.

Dzik has spent years in Knox County, first as a Kenyon College student, then an employee of Knox County and the city of Mount Vernon. He served as director of Knox County 9-1-1, and most recently as safety service director.

Mount Vernon Municipal Court records show Dzik received seven tickets for traffic violations, mostly for speeding, between 2002 and 2013.

About the Authors