BCI probe into Putnam Co. deputy completed

By J Swygart - jswygart@limanews.com



OTTAWA — The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation has completed its investigation into the alleged improper use by a Putnam County Sheriff’s deputy of the state’s motor vehicle registration database and related computer programs at the sheriff’s department.

Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Gary Lammers said Thursday the state’s probe into the alleged actions earlier this year of Deputy Tony Recker has been completed and the information has been turned over to a special prosecutor within the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office earlier this week said, “I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation happening, but I can’t offer details.”

Lammers said he requested a special prosecutor be appointed to oversee the case to avoid a conflict of interest or the appearance of one. Lammers said the allegations at the heart of the BCI probe “stem back to earlier this year” when Recker and three other employees of the sheriff’s office were placed on administrative leave after questions arose concerning their conduct in unrelated incidents.

Zeb Duelle, a corrections officer at the Putnam County jail, in March was placed on administrative leave by Sheriff Brian Seifker for alleged telecommunications harassment. He later resigned his position. Two more sheriff’s office employees, deputy Jared West and corrections officer Gina Meyers, were placed on administrative leave in April for alleged sexual misconduct while on duty. West was eventually fired and Meyers was reinstated after accepting a “last chance” agreement.

Recker was placed on administrative leave earlier this year following the appointment of the special prosecutor and retired from the sheriff’s office in June.

Lammers said Thursday that if the Attorney General’s Office elects to pursue criminal charges against Recker the case will be heard in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.


By J Swygart


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