Nelsonville Councilman Charged With Domestic Violence

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Bill Hoag Jr., a member of Nelsonville City Council, has been charged in Athens County Municipal Court with a misdemeanor count of domestic violence.

The charge was filed Wednesday by Nelsonville police, and does not include an allegation of physical violence.

According to the charge, Hoag is accused of threatening last week to “bust” his 16-year-old daughter in the face.

Nelsonville Police Chief Jason Wallace said the alleged comment was made in a telephone conversation. Wallace said the incident was reported by the daughter and Hoag’s wife.

The charge alleges that Hoag caused his daughter to believe “he would cause imminent physical harm.”

“Anyone can file a charge against anyone, and this is a pretty weak case,” asserted attorney Claire Ball Jr., who represents Hoag. “This is an extension of the divorce case going on between Bill and his wife.”

Because Hoag is on City Council, Ball said he expects Nelsonville City Prosecutor Rick Hedges to recuse himself. Hedges could not immediately be reached for comment, but Athens City Prosecutor Lisa Eliason said Wednesday that the city prosecutor’s office had not yet been asked to take the case.

Hoag, 41, was to be arraigned Wednesday, but it was postponed until Thursday at Ball’s request.

The charge is a fourth-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of 30 days in jail, a $250 fine and 200 hours of community service.