WBNS-10TV fired Mike Davis on Sept. 6 after his initial appearance in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and his release from jail on bond on a child-pornography charge.
A longtime meteorologist, Davis, 60, was arrested at his Upper Arlington home the morning of Sept. 5 on one felony count of pandering obscenity involving a minor filed by the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
In a statement issued Sept. 6 on Twitter, WBNS announced Davis had been fired.
"It has been a difficult few days and our team has been shocked by this news. We have decided to end our relationship with Mike Davis due to a violation of certain terms of his employment with WBNS."
Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Eileen Paley set a pair of $25,000 bonds for Davis, one of which required that 10% be paid to the court and another that required Davis to post bond through a licensed bail-bond agent. A jail employee confirmed his release.
Defense attorney Terry Sherman argued in court that Davis should be released on his own recognizance, without a bail payment, because the charge is likely to be dismissed within days to give investigators time to conduct computer forensics examinations before taking the case to a grand jury for an indictment. That investigation, he said, could take months.
The conditions of bond set by Paley include that Davis have no internet access, no unsupervised contact with minors and that he surrender his passport.
After the charge is dismissed for future indictment, none of those conditions can be enforced, although Sherman said he will make sure that Davis abides by them.
Davis, who has worked at WBNS for more than 30 years, did not speak during the hearing.
The task force searched Davis' home and the WBNS station Sept. 5, part of an investigation Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said began about two weeks ago when the task force received a tip related to Davis.
The task force received information related to IP addresses being used to download or send images, which led back to Davis' home and the television station, Chief Deputy Rick Minerd said Sept. 5.
Although only one felony count of pandering obscenity involving a minor has been filed in the case, Baldwin said the number of images involved is "significant."
An indictment could contain multiple charges.
Assistant Prosecutor Chelsey Capezzuti said the images were of "prepubescent females."
Electronics were seized at both locations searched. WBNS, the local CBS affiliate that was served with one of the search warrants, reported Thursday that a laptop and four thumb drives were seized there.