Alleged Sex Scandal's Impact on Sheriff's Department

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

An alleged sex scandal has weaved its way through the Washington County Sheriff's Department, involving several current and former deputies.

"He was a good officer. He did a lot of good investigative work," Sheriff Larry Mincks said about Lieutenant Mark Hiatt.

Lieutenant Hiatt is currently on administrative leave in connection with an alleged sex scandal.

According to records, former Deputy Jeff Morris resigned in January 2008, and then a couple of months later, filed a complaint alleging Hiatt had an affair with his wife Tawni; something she told authorities had been going on for six years.

Then, to make matters worse when Sergeant Robert Eddy resigned after different sexual allegations were made against him, his wife Melissa told an officer in a recorded phone conversation that she too had an affair with Lieutenant Hiatt while he was on duty.

"It's rather a disheartening experience, because there is a possibility of termination," Sheriff Mincks said.

But termination isn't part of Lieutenant Hiatt's plan. In a letter he wrote to the sheriff's department, he stated that the allegations are false.

Sheriff Mincks says the situation is impacting the entire department, but that nobody is losing sight of what they do.

"Man for man or woman for woman, they're always out there responding to calls, doing investigations and giving the public their money's worth," he said.

Constantly responding to public problems, and working to solve their own.

Lieutenant Hiatt told WTAP he didn't wish to comment on the situation.


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  • by Timmy Location: Marietta on Jul 4, 2009 at 01:13 AM
    I've never been arrested, but I do go downtown on some sat nights and have a few drinks. What I dont like is the cops in this town can drink in the same bar as I and then get in their cars and drive themselves home. I have to pay for a cab! While I am waiting for a cab I have seen the city cop car run right thru the front street stop sign by the Lafayette. You try that and see what happens. I also agree that both police chiefs should be fired. The cops apparently feel they can get by with this type of stuff. People this has been going on for over 6 years! Remember we would not know about any of this if it werent for the girl spilling the beans. Makes you wonder what else is going on we dont know about. I would like to know how Wright got off so easily. Are we to believe if he is on his lunch break he is not going to respond to an emergency? Now the caught cops are going to appeal their firing and cost us even more money. The all (fireman too ) should lose their pensions with their jobs.
  • by annoyed on Jul 1, 2009 at 08:55 PM
    Molly I think there our still good officers out there. I went to school with some of them, my boys play football with a couple of their sons.I think if the cops were doing this on their own time it wouldn't be anyones business but they did it on the clock. If I had sex while I was working I would be fired. There are consequences with your actions. These men knew that going in to this. That doesn't mean they weren't good officers they just made bad judgements. But let's be real the jails are full of people who made bad judgements. Everyone has to pay for their mistakes. That's just life. And yes alot of people have affairs but not everyone does it at work. I don't think our tax dollars ought to pay for someone to have sex. I'm just sorry that because of a few all of them are being looked down on. There are still good people on our police force I know them personaly. They just need to make sure everyone is doing their job while on duty what they do off the clock isn't our problem.
  • by Michelle Location: Mtta on Jul 1, 2009 at 08:36 PM
    I don't think we can blame the sheriff for all of this. The cops didn't even know who were sleeping with their wives. The sheriff wasn't working 24 hours a day. Hiatt was a leiutenent I assume he was in charge of his own shift. Wright was a SGT. he was in charge of his shift. So how can you put it all on the sheriff? These officers need to take responsibilty for their own actions. Every work place have the big bosses then their are assistant and shift leaders. The big boss can't be their all the time. Mincks wasn't the one who couldn't keep his pants on. No one has said to fire the Chief of police or the Fire Chief so why the sheriff? Why don't we keep the blame where it belongs.
  • by Fed up Location: Marietta on Jul 1, 2009 at 08:24 PM
    I would like to know how they can catch drug dealers in this county but they had no idea this was going on in the back parking lot of their office. And if the cops got dispatched on a call did they finish what they were doing first. Maybe we need a task force to watch our cops while they are watching the criminals!!!!!!
  • by somewhere Location: ohio on Jul 1, 2009 at 07:36 PM
    Molly I hope if I ever call the police they are not busy having sexual relations, as it seems this takes a lot of their time up. I mean come on Molly these people are paid by my tax dollars and again not to have sex on duty and yes Molly it goes on while they are on duty. This whole area WCSO, Belpre, Marietta have a bad reputation for Officers and their women on the side and yes Molly they do it. You might want to stick your head in the sand and act like its ok because they are Police Officers but I dont and I think there are a lot of people who agree with me. When they are getting paid I want them to do their job, not some women down the street.
  • by does it matter Location: IN TOWN on Jul 1, 2009 at 04:34 PM
    molly molly molly ...you dont pay me to do anything ...we pay these guys ...and i think that this town is a laughing stock ...woohoo lol...this is great ...whats next? they need outside internal affairs to get this town straight ...and yeah if i need the police i may have to call ...but what are my options ...i just hope that they got there shirt tucked in ...marietta whats up ...
  • by Molly Location: Marietta on Jul 1, 2009 at 04:34 PM
    I would like to add that the majority of the people who do not respect the police officers are probably the ones that have either already been in court or should be. Who are you to judge?
  • by WASH CO TAX PAYER on Jul 1, 2009 at 02:27 PM
    WE AS TAX PAYING LAW OBEYING PEOPLE SHOULD DEMAND THE SHERIFF RESIGN ALONG WITH ANYONE WHO HAD KNOWLEGE OF THIS CRIME
  • by Anonymous on Jul 1, 2009 at 01:21 PM
    Why are they still using the word "alleged"? I thought it was proven, cause people resigned and were let go and what not so, alleged? I don't think so.
  • by Molly Location: Marietta on Jul 1, 2009 at 01:17 PM
    You ignorant people who sound off and don't know what you are talking about. Who is the first person you call when you need help? Our police officers. They are there to protect us. You seem to think that this is the only place this happens. Look at the Government. Look at your own lives and see how imperfect before you start blaming our Sheriff. He and his deputies are trying their best to make our county a safer place to live. I hope you need a police officer someday for help. I am sure you will call and they will be there regardless of how ignorant you are.
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