Updated: Noble County Sheriff And His Wife Resign

By: WTAP News, Leslie Cebula Email
By: WTAP News, Leslie Cebula Email

Update: 9:11 p.m.

Friday special prosecuting attorney Dave Yost, the Delaware County prosecutor, announced Noble County Sheriff Landon Smith resigned after being in office for more than 35 years. Yost said it was part of an agreement with his office that Smith would enter a plea on two charges.

The Ohio Ethics Commission and the special prosecutor's office plan to file a fourth degree felony charge of having an unlawful interest in a public contract against Smith next week.

"This charge stems from hiring against the advice from council his wife and his daughter-in-law on a public payroll," said Yost.

Friday Smith's wife, Peggy, who was a deputy also resigned.

"The ethics charge stemmed from his assignment to his wife of a sheriff's vehicle that she used for personal business. We have photographs of the vehicle in the Walmart parking lot while she was shopping on a day off with child restraint seats in the back," said Yost.

Landon Smith also faces a first degree misdemeanor charge of conflict of interest.

"The sheriff would take inmates from the jail in a public vehicle out to his home to have them perform chores such as picking berries and hedge trimming," Yost said.

Members of the community gathered to hear the charges.
Kaleigh Pangle, a Noble County resident said "He (Landon Smith) has been our sheriff for as long as I have been alive and he's been great and it's a great loss for our county and I just think they should go spend their money somewhere else."

Another Noble County resident who did not want to show her face on camera or release her name said "It's time for a change and justice needs to be served."

The Noble County commissioners appointed Stephen Hannum to be the new sheriff. Now the democratic executive committee will decide whether or not he will be the sheriff for the next 45 days and then after that in November 2010 the voters will decide who will be the sheriff.

The chief investigating attorney for the Ohio Ethics Commission says the attorneys received a confidential complaint and started investigating this past fall.

Yost would not reveal exactly how long the misconduct may have been going on but did say it is suspected to have been going on for years.

If convicted Smith could face up to 18 months in jail for the felony charge plus six more months behind bars for the misdemeanor.

Smith is expected to enter a plea in court on June 3.


Update: 3:47pm

Noble County Commissioners name Stephen Hannum interim Sheriff.

Hannum officially takes over position after being sworn in at 5:00pm.


Noble County Sheriff Landon Smith and his wife, Peggy, have resigned from the Sheriff's Office after being charged with two offenses.

Smith is facing charges of nepotism and private use of Sheriff's Office vehicles and prisoners.

The Ohio Ethics Commission had named Delaware County Prosecutor David Yost as special prosecutor in the case.

Yost announced the charges at a press conference in Caldwell Friday afternoon.

An interim sheriff is expected to be named later Friday afternoon.

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  • by anonymous Location: caldwell on May 26, 2009 at 03:55 PM
    To Yore!58. You better so some more research in the courthouse because the land the prison is on belonged to the Don Parrish family and was sold to the Noble County Chamber of Commerce and has nothing to so with Landon. Get your facts right before you post a comment..
  • by Joey Location: Noble County on May 26, 2009 at 11:19 AM
    Dear Yorel I hate to tell you but you have no idea what you are talking about. The land that Landon owns was given to him by his mother. If you did your research before you run your mouth you would know. That land has been in his family for over 100 years. The land was suppose to go to him and his brother but his brother died before his mother, so Landon got all of it in her will. Do a little research next time before you speak. If Landon ran for Sheriff today he would still be voted in. We love and repect him and it's out of towners like you who give noble county a bad name.
  • by Yorel58 Location: Fairmont,NC on May 26, 2009 at 04:34 AM
    A lot of comments seem to favor Mr. Smith, but I worked in the logging business in Guernsey county and was in the Noble county courthouse doing research quite a bit. It seems Landon and his wife own a large share of land in Noble county and from what I can tell the prison west of town may also sit on the Smiths land. Funny it doesn't show up in the plat book though. Conflict of interest? Maybe! I do believe Dave Yost could have provided much more evidence if he dug just a litle deeper. As for the people of Noble county that Good Old Boy act sometimes hides a multitude of sins. You deserve better.
  • by Anonymous on May 25, 2009 at 04:49 PM
    the old school system is officialy gone. he was the last of a dying breed. some would call heim corrupt i would call him "sir". In the old days a drunk passed out at the bar got a ride to the station or home where ever was closer and maybe a ride back to his car in the morning. if you ran your car in the ditch he would pull you out or call for help and file a report if you needed for insurance, if not he would make sure you were ok if no damage was done to property he would send you on your way if there was property damage he would ensure the owner you would fix it. Now all this is going to end you up in jail. The government has got so big and powerfull now that us ordinary tax payers as we are refered to are nothing more than piggy banks. the whole system has gotten way out of hand and there is no fixing it. the new scared sheriff will play by the rules no more slapped hands now it is you wallet and a criminal record i hope nobel co. enjoys it they asked for it.no more low crime rate.
  • by sg Location: Noblelus CTY on May 25, 2009 at 08:55 AM
    Another sad day for Caldwell or an enlightenment. Fact is a fact. Landon has done a great job in Noble County. The crime rate is low, he catches the guilty. Maybe he does have "informants" That is using resources. We all know he has used the vehicles for personal use. It was wrong to hire relatives. He should be punished. But, with all the punishment and resigning, is he still entitled to Ohio benefits? If not, then 35yrs of work down the drain and that is punishment alone. If going to punish, then go for the kill. A lawman is supposed to uphold ALL the laws of the land,not just pick and choose. Maybe Steve Hannum will take the prisoners and have them clean up Caldwell. Since the prisoners are taking up space and precious oxygen, they can visit their relatives while picking up trash, or painting. I would still vote for Landon if an election was tomorrow.
  • by LOL !! Location: Ohio on May 24, 2009 at 10:10 AM
    Small compaired to: illegal search and seizure, what about the person that was burnt up in a barn while he was held up in it, obstruction of other law enf. while conducting lawful traffic stops? entering homes without permission or warrants? and why was it that authorities could not properly investigate the bars in noble co. properly - maybe because they are obligated to inform the sheriff first?
  • by brandon on May 23, 2009 at 10:46 PM
    Marli, Who said I don't know the Boards personally or professionally. And what part of FACT do you study in your junior college that you think is more accurate since you say it is so. The word FACT should mean you have some evidence that other persons in the mid ohio valley who didnt have parents give them the job would do a worse job. That way officer board wouldn't be the one doing all the interviews for wtap and having what I type and file for public records not submited here on wtap since they are all friends.
  • by I support Landon T Smith Location: Florence Arizona on May 23, 2009 at 05:07 PM
    I have known Landon almost all of my life I graduated from High School with his daughter Susan, Landon is a very effective Law Enforcement officer and for as long as I have known him he has never had any problems with the prisoners in his custody. He allows them to do outside work on his farm so they do not go stir crazy being locked up. He trained his deputies to be very community/County oriented as he is the type of Sheriff that if you walked into a restaurant{usually his wife's in Belle Valley, he would buy you a soda or a cup of coffee. He always knew what brand of soda you liked and he would sit and talk to you about hunting{mostly deer} or fishing at Wolf Run or at his farm. He was always aware about what was going on his county his deputies were always friendly and go out of their way to help you if they could. He never wore his uniform as he always thought it was intimidating and set himself above the people he protected.
  • by Aknar Location: Marietta on May 23, 2009 at 03:22 PM
    So what Im hearing is that as long as tax money is repairing roads, criminals who have been convicted of crimes by their peers can sit in jail and watch cable tv and order books from the library. They can also get 3 square meals a day which they eat in air conditioning that your tax bucks provide to them. I work outside summer and winter for a fair wage, Ive never been in trouble with the law and I pay my taxes but I know I dont want my tax money providing for anothers comfort while they are serving time. Do the crime serve the time, whatever that service maybe. I would love to see what the crime rate is in Noble compared to other counties
  • by sally Location: caldwell on May 23, 2009 at 06:58 AM
    Its about time this crook was caught. He has made his bed: let him lay in it in jail. But we need to get the rest of the crooks out also. to me the noble county prosecuters are no different.
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