breaking news

severe weather


Clark sheriff, employees face state probe

Published: Wednesday, November 07, 2012 @ 5:56 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 08, 2012 @ 9:27 AM

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office has been asked to investigate an alleged domestic dispute that included the Clark County sheriff and two of his employees.

Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson contacted the Attorney General’s Office after a situation involving Sheriff Gene Kelly at the Stone Crossing apartment complex on Dwight Road on Monday afternoon. No arrests were made, nor were charges filed. However, the incident did involve county employees during hours of employment, according to the sheriff’s office.

Kelly told the Springfield News-Sun on Wednesday that he asked for an independent review of the incident, which involved the response of several high-ranking deputies.

Because of a potential conflict of interest by the prosecutor’s office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation will handle the matter, said Bill Schenck, senior adviser to the Ohio Attorney General.

According to a Clark County Sheriff’s Office incident report obtained by the News-Sun, Sgt. Michael Young was contacted by Sheriff’s Sgt. Ralph Underwood about what Underwood called “a domestic disturbance” involving Sheriff Kelly, his wife, Michele, and Pam Underwood, the sergeant’s ex-wife as well as a sheriff’s office employee, at Stone Crossing apartment complex at 2880 Dwight Road.

Young, who said he was in the area and concerned about the situation, reportedly responded to the scene while contacting his supervisors via phone.

 

Young found Michele Kelly in a pickup truck along with a 6-year-old boy. After Young called for backup, he reported that Michele Kelly believed Sheriff Kelly and Pam Underwood were inside a nearby apartment. According to the report, Michele Kelly began to walk toward an apartment, where Sheriff Kelly emerged, followed by Pam Underwood.

A verbal commotion ensued between Pam Underwood and Michele Kelly, according to the report. However, neither woman told deputies they felt threatened.

“I had concern for this volatile situation because I observed Sheriff Kelly in uniform and I was aware that he had a firearm, and I could hear Michele yelling at a high pitch at Pam Underwood,” Young stated in his report, who added that Sheriff Kelly unsuccessfully tried to calm his wife.

Sgt. Underwood arrived and began to argue with the sheriff, according to the report. Several supervisors, including Lt. Dustin White and Capt. Jonathan Holmes, were called to assist.

Young stated that Sheriff Kelly asked him if he would submit a report to document the incident. When Young replied that he would, Sheriff Kelly reportedly asked why. Young said it was required in a domestic dispute.

Neither of the Underwoods returned calls or were available for comment Wednesday.

Sheriff Kelly, who ran unopposed and was re-elected Tuesday, told the News-Sun that he contacted the prosecutor’s office to review the incident, which he described as a “sickening event.”

“I have honestly stepped back. Not talking to anybody about it,” he said.

In a submitted statement, Sheriff Kelly wrote, “It is my understanding no crime has even been alleged, yet I have recused myself from this matter and have placed it in the hands of the Clark County prosecutor for review. While I cannot speak further on this matter until Mr. Wilson completes his review, I can say that, unfortunately, my wife and I have had some difficult times recently.”

“Today I am focusing my attention on my family and on continuing to faithfully serve the people of Clark County,” the sheriff’s statement read.

Because the incident involved public officials, Schenck said it warrants investigation to ensure no criminal statutes or departmental policies were violated. That the incident occurred within Springfield city limits but local officers were not contacted, and that protocols requiring deputies to use dispatch to report and respond to incidents were not used both will be part of the investigation, Schenck confirmed.

“(We’ll) interview the parties, see whether or not if there was any violation of the law, what really happened here (and) did it occur on county time,” Schenck said.

Kelly confirmed both Sgts. Underwood and Young were on duty at the time of the incident. However, calls to their supervisor to verify their specific duties at the time of the incident were not returned.

The state is awaiting a formal written request from the prosecutor’s office before opening the investigation, Schenck said.

“The matter sounds like it is just a very sticky, messy sort of personal situation that occurred. Unfortunately, it involved public officials and public employees, and as you know when that happens, whether we like it or not, it demands more scrutiny,” Schenck said.

The sheriff said both Underwoods remain “tenured employees” of his office, and no disciplinary action has been taken.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Police apprehend 1 of 2 juveniles accused of taking car, cell phone, purse at gunpoint

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:11 PM

Police apprehend 1 of 2 juveniles accused of taking car, cell phone, purse at gunpoint

One of two juveniles accused of taking a car at gunpoint is in custody after an alert Dayton police detective chased him down. 

The foot pursuit occurred Tuesday afternoon in the area of Burwood Avenue and Germantown Street, Sgt. Creigee S. Coleman said, when the detective saw the two juveniles and the car that was stolen earlier in the day. 

Police also recovered a gun the juvenile is believed to have thrown to the ground during the foot chase, Sgt. Coleman said. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Death of man found in Springfield park ruled ‘suspicious’

In the robbery that occurred just before 2 p.m., Coleman said, a woman was parked in front of her house when the juveniles approached and asked to borrow her cell phone. 

When she refused, the juveniles brandished handguns and took her cell phone, her purse and the car. 

"They used guns to intimidate this lady," Sgt. Coleman said. "She was parked in front of her own house, minding her own business." 

About 3 p.m., the detective, who had been driving around looking for the stolen car, saw it and the juveniles on Burwood Avenue. They ran. He gave chase and caught the one, who was being interviewed late Tuesday afternoon by the police department's Violent Offenders Unit, Coleman said. 

The woman was not injured, he said, but she was frightened. 

Sgt. Coleman cautioned people to be aware of their surroundings and to be vigilant at all times. 

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com.  

Trending - Most Read Stories

Body of man found in Springfield park identified

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 10:30 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 1:29 PM

Police and Ohio BCI units were called to the area of West Rose Street and Iowa Avenue.

A man found dead in a Springfield park today has been identified as the father of one of two teenage boys who were tied up in a Huber Heights home invasion early this morning, according to public records and the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

>>FULL STORY: Father of zip-tied Huber Heights boy found dead in Springfield park

Springfield and Clark County officials say they are investigating the suspicious death of Cedric Holt Jr., a man public records and a 911 call indicate is the father of one of the teens in the Huber Heights home.

Coroner’s officials confirmed Holt’s suspicious death today.

UPDATE @ 3:04 p.m.:

A park worker mowing grass at Virgil Mabra Park in Springfield found a vehicle with the doors open and a person inside near the walking trails at the park, according to a 911 call.

"My partner and I are over here mowing grass at Mabra Park on the south end off of Oakley,” the caller said.  "There is an automobile tucked all the way in the back by the walking trails by the Boy Scouts bridge. Doors are open, someone's in there."

The condition of the person reportedly found has not been released by police, however the coroner’s office responded to the park earlier today.

A call to the Clark County Coroner’s Office has not been returned.

Springfield police and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation were on the scene into the afternoon, however police have released no additional information other than an investigation was ongoing.

UPDATE @ 12:31 p.m.:

The coroner’s office has arrived on the scene of a police investigation at Virgil Mabra Park.

Police have yet to release any details on the investigation.

 

UPDATE @ 11:25 a.m.: 

Springfield police have closed off Virgil Mabra Park on West Rose Street in Springfield for an active investigation involving the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. 

Additional details about the nature of the police investigation have not been released. 

We’ll continue to update this page as we learn more. 

FIRST REPORT

A police investigation is underway in the area of West Rose Street and Iowa Avenue this morning, according to Springfield police.

Police said officers were in the area around 10:15 a.m.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is also on the scene.

Details on the investigation were not immediately available.

We’re working to learn more.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Threat cancels Middletown High School’s last day of classes

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:00 PM

Middletown High School modernized.

A threat of deadly violence will close Middletown High School on Wednesday, prematurely ending the school year.

A student tip about a possibly deadly threat appeared serious enough to cancel classes for the high school on what was to be the last day of the school year, Middletown School officials told this news outlet Tuesday.

MORE: Sheriff to school boards on security: What are you waiting for?

Superintendent Marlon Styles Jr. declined to reveal the nature of the threat but said Middletown Police, which provides officers in the city school district, was immediately notified and is now investigating the threat to determine who is responsible.

“The threat is specific enough that we believe the safest option for our students and staff is to close the high school (Wednesday),” Styles said.

The threat does not change tonight’s scheduled Middletown High School graduation ceremony at Barnitz Stadium, he said, adding that extra police protection will be in place for ceremony.

MORE: Middletown graduation moves after parents shut out of last year’s ceremony

All other Middletown schools will hold final day classes and activities on Wednesday as planned.

“Our School Resource Police Officers (SRO) and staff reviewed videotapes and interviewed students and staff. The Butler County School Safety Director and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) are using their resources to scan social media. At Middletown City Schools, we take all threats seriously and we will press charges,” Styles said.

“We have been shown a sign of violence and we will act to keep our schools safe for all students and staff. We are encouraging parents to talk with their sons and daughters and report anything they might know (about the threat) to the Middletown Police Dispatch at 513-425-7700. That call will be kept confidential. As always, the safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority,” he said.

“While we are saddened this is happening on the eve of our graduation celebration, we must keep our Middie family safe. We will have an increased police presence at graduation. Our focus tonight is celebrating our seniors and their successes,” Styles said.

Trending - Most Read Stories

Three firefighters including Chief and Assistant Chief fired from local township’s fire department

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 4:29 PM

The Gasper Twp. Fire chief, assistant chief, and a third fire employee were terminated from their positions Monday following claims of timecard fraud, according to a township trustee.
Malik Perkins
The Gasper Twp. Fire chief, assistant chief, and a third fire employee were terminated from their positions Monday following claims of timecard fraud, according to a township trustee.(Malik Perkins)

The Gasper Twp. Fire chief, assistant chief, and a third fire employee were terminated from their positions Monday following claims of timecard fraud, according to a township trustee. 

Trustees voted to remove Fire Chief Tyler Claybaker, Assistant Chief Andrew Bekemeier, and a third employee Justin Wright after receiving claims they were submitting and approving hours they didn’t work, Gasper Twp. trustee Eric White said. 

A current captain with the department, who White did not identify, was promoted to interim chief. 

Multiple members of the volunteer staff stormed out of the meeting following the announcement yesterday, White said. 

“We’re actually not out of service. Hopefully we’ll be able to fill all our shifts, (but) I don’t think that’ll be a big problem,” White said.

Trending - Most Read Stories