LIMA — It’s been more than 10 months since FBI agents raided the office of then-Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish.
It released very few details then and continues to keep quiet.
“Investigations do take time. Nothing overt is happening,” FBI Special Agent Kim Schwarting said Monday. “Nothing new to report.”
FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents served a search warrant Sept. 7 at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office. No arrests were made at that time.
Crish was elected to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office in 2008, and his term began in January 2009. He ran unopposed in the November election as a Republican.
Shortly after the FBI investigation, Crish checked himself into an inpatient treatment program to address an unidentified “serious personal issue,” his attorney, Mike Rumer, said in a written statement. Later Crish divulged that he was in a Virginia treatment facility for 28 days because of being a compulsive gambler.
Serious financial problems surfaced from lawsuits that others filed against Crish. Among those filing lawsuits were Ray Magnus, of Lima, for $102,000; Greg T. Schiffler, of Lima for $25,250; and David L. Hefner Sr., of Elida, is seeking $17,600. Both Schiffler’s lawsuit and Hefner’s lawsuits said they loaned Crish money for a Sheriff’s Office dog program.
Crish’s problems continued to snowball.
A convicted drug dealer, Demond Liles, said he let Crish borrow $20,000 from him. Liles said Crish needed the money for gambling. Liles further accused Crish of entrapping him so that Crish would get out of paying his debt. Liles is serving a 25-year prison sentence for drug crimes.
The company holding Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish’s bonds canceled Crish’s bonds. Crish held two bonds, one for money he handles with a furtherance of justice fund, and another elected officials are required to have. State law requires sheriffs to hold such bonds. One bond ensures if a public official doesn’t follow the law, the liabilities would be paid by the bond company. Auto-Owners Insurance Co. informed Crish and county officials that Crish’s bonds were being canceled effective Feb. 10 because of a claim.
Crish resigned from office Jan. 31.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.