SIDNEY - The Shelby County Republican Party's Executive Committee has called for the resignation of Shelby County Sheriff Dean Kimpel in the wake of allegations of rape and a questionable drug probe, but Kimpel is reportedly refusing to step down.
Wednesday morning GOP Executive Committee Chairman Chris Gibbs and Central Committee Chairman Jeff Sargeant issued a press release and a copy of a letter they gave to Kimpel, stating that the local GOP is seeking Kimpel's "immediate" resignation.
"Using Ohio's Open Records law, the Shelby County Republican Party recently requested and received an internal investigative report prepared as part of the case file involving former Shelby County Deputy (Jodi) Van Fossen," the press release stated. "Based on the contents of those documents, the Shelby County Republican Party Executive Committee has requested that Sheriff Dean Kimpel resign immediately from the position of Shelby County Sheriff."
"It is the opinion of the Shelby County Republican Party Executive Committee that public confidence in the office of Sheriff has and will continue to erode beyond the point of explanation or repair," the release stated.
It noted further that "In 2008, the Shelby County Republican Party advanced Dean Kimpel's candidacy in an effort to restore the people's confidence in their chief law enforcement officer and the institution of Sheriff. Today, we believe that confidence has been compromised and that resistance to our call for immediate resignation will further discredit himself, the institution of Sheriff, the employees under his direction and most importantly, the trust of our Shelby County citizens."
The letter to Kimpel requesting his resignation was signed by Gibbs and Sargeant.
When the Sidney Daily News called the sheriff to ask if he intended to resign, Capt. Michael Eilerman spoke for him. "His comment is he will not resign over the allegations," Eilerman said. In a follow-up e-mail, Eilerman stated, "The sheriff will not resign."
The request for Kimpel's resignation comes on the heels of allegations of a possible rape and questionable procedures in a drug investigation and a number of other allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior involving not only Kimpel, but other officials as well. They are part of an internal investigation report that was released earlier this week to the Sidney Daily News. The report is part of a personnel review case involving former Deputy Jodi Van Fossen, who was ultimately fired by the sheriff.
The 154-page report stated that Van Fossen claimed she had Kimpel come to her home "in an attempt to get proof that he was improperly pursuing her sexually. She said she had invited him to her home to talk and she intended to record the conversation." The report stated that after the visit Van Fossen alleged she had "fragmentary memories of Dean in bed with her. She said she believed she had been raped." She also claimed to have evidence of the rape.
The report also contains a number of e-mails from Kimpel to Van Fossen, in which he describes the night that Van Fossen claims she was allegedly raped. Kimpel wrote about going into Van Fossen's bedroom. "You told me to come into the bedroom, which I did. You were lying on the bed. You asked me to sit on the bed and I shook my head no."
Kimpel wrote that Van Fossen told him she had "two beers" and "you (Van Fossen) got a glass of whiskey and gave it to me. I sat it on the chest of drawers and did not drink it."
Kimpel wrote, "You kept telling me that you loved me and I did tell you that I loved you, too."
Kimpel wrote that he and Van Fossen talked "for a couple of hours" and that Van Fossen went to the bathroom at that point and was vomiting.
"I helped you back to the bedroom and put you in bed," Kimpel wrote. "I got a washcloth and wiped your face. You told me I was so sweet and that you loved me."
Kimpel wrote that he had been at Van Fossen's home "for almost three hours. And you told me you didn't remember it...then you said that you did remember."
"It wasn't until a few days later that you sent me a text accusing me of 'taking advantage of you' that I realized you thought I did something to you," Kimpel wrote.
"There are rumors that I tried to rape you, that I told you you have to have sex or lose your job, none of which are true," Kimpel wrote. He later added, "you are not ready to come back to work.you still have a job."
Van Fossen also wrote to Kimpel about the night she alleges she was raped: "First you tell me that something happened between us and you knew it was wrong but I was coming on to you and you knew I was drinking and I threw up all over the bathroom. Then you tell me I was coherent and we had a three-hour conversation."
A case that is reportedly unrelated to the administrative case that resulted in Van Fossen's termination is still under review by Miami County Prosecutor Gary Nasal. The nature of those allegations has not been made public yet.