The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office’s methods for handling their vehicles are still being investigated by the State of Ohio. And the state is not saying much about the progress of that investigation.
That has Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis feeling frustrated over the status of the inquiry. “We have not received any communication as to where that is.”
As you’ll recall, SCDN broke the news about the controversy. Seventy-nine (or 63, or 62) out-of-service Scioto County Sheriff’s fleet vehicles are stacked up in the field once owned by a deceased special deputy. This property, not a licensed or bonded facility. Currently, it belongs to the family of the deceased deputy. SCDN further conducted its own investigation, capturing the first public images of the disposed vehicles.
Scioto Commissioner Cathy Coleman said that some of the vehicles have been there as long as 18 years. Others reported that there are trees going out of some of the vehicles. There was no written contract for vehicle storage.
There was some initial confusion about the number of vehicles on the property. The Commissioners were finally able to arrange for an accurate count. The normal procedure would be for unneeded items belonging to the county to be sold at a public auction. The county would then pocket the profits.
Commissioner Mike Crabtree expressed fears about liability should someone be injured on the property. “We need to get those vehicles back on county property because of liability.”
Commissioners turned their findings over to the state auditor to see what their next move should be.
So what’s happening now? According to Commissioner Davis, “Yes there is still an active investigation. The auditor is still looking at it.”
But the auditor is not talking. Davis said commissioners had specifically requested an update before planning their next moves.
“We had asked because we are in a tough spot. We have a liability issues here. We would like to move forward with disposing of those vehicles. They will not comment on where that investigation is or on their need to see those vehicles.”
New Vehicles Approved
Last month, the Commissioners blocked the transfer of a used Sheriff’s vehicle to the Prosecutor’s Office. The said the request was not properly submitted. However, at Tuesday’s Scioto County Commissioners’ meeting they approved the purchase of multiple vehicles for the department. These purchases were funded by the Rotary Fund and not the County.
Davis said he still had his doubts about purchasing vehicles before the other investigation was completed. However, he added that the sheriff’s office was well within its rights to do so.
If you’d like access to our complete records on this investigation and more, consider becoming a VIP member of SCDN. Click here to learn how it works.