Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks is responding to allegations by his opponent Chris Forshey. Forshey said the trial of former jail administrator, Dean Ketelsen, was a travesty and political.
Now Sheriff Mincks is taking a stand, calling the allegations outrageous and politically motivated.
Sheriff Mincks defended the investigation saying it was souly about missing medication and some of Ketelsen's decisions led the investigation to him.
"Facts were presented to the Prosecutor and then to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury, composed of nine independent individuals felt there was enough evidence to indict Dean Ketelsen. They indicted him, the Sheriff's Office did not. In our role as fact collectors we used many investigative techniques. A polygraph is not an end all be all indicator of guilt or innocence. It is one investigative tool among many others used by investigators. The facts we had continued to lead to Dean Ketelsen," explains Sheriff Mincks. "The idea that the Sheriff's Office concocted some conspiracy to conduct a criminal investigation into Ketelsen because of some unknown friendship he may or may not have had with someone is ridiculous and beyond the realm of common sense."
He says it's disappointing that time must be taken out of other things to address the allegations.
Mincks continued on to say he is proud of the his staff and tax payers should be too.
Not guilty but not over. Former Jail Administrator Dean Ketelsen was found not guilty of stealing prescription medication meant for inmates at the Washington County Jail.
Now a former Captain, now running for Sheriff, is calling the charges and trial a travesty.
Chris Forshey believes Ketelsen was targeted even after passing polygraph tests and other employees failed.
"To disregard evidence that would that's very readily apparent even though polygraphs can't be used in the court of law, they are an investigative tool and we use them all the time in all different types of investigations and to totally disregard those results, when his results were truthful and there were other results, just flies against the face of reason," says Forshey.
He believes the department is at the very best mismanaged and that Ketelsen's prosecution was politically linked to their friendship and service together.
"It was clear they focused only on Ketelsen, above and beyond all else and there was a lot of contradictory evidence in that file. Even to the point that they couldn't even prove whether the drugs were missing, stolen, miscounted," explains Forshey. "The Sheriff's office routinely has miscounted medicine, misdosed medication, medication that was given to the wrong prisoners so they can't even say for sure that the medicine was missing as a result of a criminal act."
Current Sheriff, Larry Mincks called the allegations politically motivated and had no further comments.
Forshey is running as an independent candidate to appear on the November ballot against incumbent Larry Mincks.
Washington County Sheriff candidate asked the hard hitting questions at a Commissioners meeting.
He's running for sheriff and looking for answers. Former chief deputy Chris Forshey, says after reviewing public records he found many items not accounted for.
"My concern is the accountability for county assets. When we talk about some of these helicopter parts, we're talking about parts that were purchased with tax payers money and when the helicopters were transferred to a different agency those parts should've been removed," says Forshey.
When the Sheriff's Office donated helicopters to Southeastern Ohio, radios and other parts went with them. Forshey wants to know why those items are not on their inventory records and where they went. He says if all that is missing, other things could be missing just as easily.
The Sheriff's Office says... it's all there.
"I understand the Mr. Forshey did put a public records request in however if Mr. Forshey would've asked for the correct paperwork on that public records request, he would've found that there is an inventory called removed inventory. Those items did exist on those and it was January 31st I believe when we turned those items into the Commissioners," explains Washington County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Mark Warden.
As for the items, Warden says they are no longer being used in the helicopters so they are on their way back to Washington County.
But there is something the Sheriff's Office admits is missing and Forshey is pressing for answers.
"We also have a missing AR 15 Riffle you know it may be missing in the department, it may be stolen, but that's a pretty serious critical piece of equipment and as we made inquiries about that," says Forshey.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office says the weapon was on inventory in 2010 and it was found missing by inventory officers in 2011.
Warden says they first took time to look and speak with all of those responsible for the weapon.
"Once we found that no officer had it a criminal investigation was opened, that criminal investigation is going to be conducted by an outside agency, once the criminal investigation is done then there will be an internal investigation conducted into the matters of that weapon," explains Warden.