LIMA — Attorneys for Ray Magnus and Greg Schiffler, of Lima, and David Hefner Sr., of Elida, were scheduled to meet Thursday morning with legal representatives of former Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish for a pre-trial hearing surrounding civil lawsuits filed against Crish in an effort to recoup money each man loaned him.
Meanwhile, officials with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Thursday the criminal investigation that led to Crish’s sudden resignation as sheriff more than a year ago is still ongoing.
Agents from the FBI and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation served a search warrant against Crish on Sept. 7, 2016, at the sheriff’s office. But FBI officials since that time have remained tight-lipped about the reasons behind their search, what agents were looking for and how long their investigation might continue.
Special Agent Vicki Anderson of the Cleveland FBI office continued that stance when contacted Thursday. “There still remains an ongoing investigation and we cannot release any additional information at the time,” said Anderson.
The pre-trial hearing Thursday behind closed doors in Allen County Common Pleas Court focused on Crish’s civil woes and not his legal ones.
The civil lawsuit filed by Magnus against Crish seeks to recover $102,000; Schiffler has sued Crish for $25,250 and Hefner is seeking $17,600 from the former sheriff. Both Schiffler’s lawsuit and Hefner’s suits said they loaned Crish money for a sheriff’s office dog program.
Angelica M. Jarmusz, an associate with the New Albany law firm of Fishel Hass Kim Albrecht Downey LLP, was also awaiting the pre-trial hearing Thursday as a representative of the Allen County commissioners. Jarmusz said Magnus had included the county as a defendant in his civil lawsuit due to Crish’s former employment as the county sheriff. Jarmusz, whose firm represents the County Risk Sharing Authority, said a motion is pending to have Allen County dismissed as a defendant in the Magnus case.
No criminal charges have been filed against Crish and no arrests have been made, but the former sheriff’s previously unknown gambling addiction did come to light following the FBI raid.
Shortly after the FBI investigation was opened, Crish checked himself into an inpatient treatment program to address an unidentified “serious personal issue,” according to his attorney. Crish later divulged that he was in a Virginia treatment facility for 28 days because of being a compulsive gambler.
Crish resigned from office Jan. 31, 2017. The Allen County Commissioners on Feb. 1 appointed Chief Deputy Jimmy Everett to fill the position, but Everett died less than a week later. On Feb. 8, 2017, Matt Treglia was appointed by the commissioners as the interim sheriff. The county Republican Party selected Treglia as the new county sheriff some two weeks later.