Departures, 2018 election may reshape county government

Published: Saturday, December 30, 2017 @ 8:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 5:06 PM

Montgomery County Board of Commission President Dan Foley announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Commissioner Debbie Lieberman is shown left. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Montgomery County Board of Commission President Dan Foley announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. Commissioner Debbie Lieberman is shown left. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Two longtime elected officials announced in 2017 they would leave their Montgomery County posts, and another may depart if he wins election to the statehouse.

The decisions will shape county government, law enforcement and how the courts are administered in coming years.

Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley

Dan Foley, a Democrat, announced in October he would not run for re-election in 2018.

RELATED: Dan Foley won’t run again for Montgomery County commission

In elected positions for 17 years, Foley said he will serve out his term that ends Dec.  31 and work on several projects, including helping close a projected $9 million budget hole due to expiration of the Medicaid managed care sales tax.

“I’m grateful personally and professionally for the trust that voters have placed in me, both as a commissioner and prior to that as clerk of courts,” Foley said. “I’m proud of the work I’ve done as a commissioner and with my colleagues in the county.”

Foley became a commissioner in January 2007. He was appointed clerk of courts in 2000 and later won election, serving until he became a commissioner.

As one of three Democrats on the commission, his decision to leave could give the Republican Party a chance to regain a seat for the first time in a decade. Foley narrowly won re-election his last two campaigns in 2010 and 2014.

Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer

Sheriff Phil Plummer announced he will be running for the 40th Ohio House seat now held by term-limited state Rep. Mike Henne, R-Clayton, but plans to remain sheriff through the 2018 campaign.

But if he wins, the Montgomery County Republican Party Central Committee would select his successor to fill the sheriff’s term through 2020.

MORE: Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer to run for Ohio House

Plummer has been sheriff since appointed to take over for former Sheriff Dave Vore, who retired in July 2008. He was elected that November and has served ever since.

He began his career as a corrections officer in the jail 30 years ago and rose through the ranks to become Vore’s chief deputy.

“I love my job. I have the best job in the world,” Plummer said. “(But) after 30 years, it can take a toll on you.”

Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger introduced and endorsed Plummer during the announcement, saying the sheriff’s experience gives him valuable insight on the opioid crisis, one of the state’s biggest issues. But Plummer, who as sheriff runs the county jail, also faced multiple lawsuits over allegations of mistreatment of prisoners, some still pending.

County spending on jail lawsuits tops $1M

Greg Brush, former Montgomery County Clerk of Courts

Greg Brush, a Democrat, made his announcement that he would be leaving as clerk of courts the same day as Foley, whose job he assumed when Foley was sworn in as a county commissioner.

Brush retired after 34 years in public service positions in Montgomery County to become chief administrator for the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts in Cincinnati.

He served as Butler Twp. fiscal officer for seven years and 20 years as a Vandalia police officer. He also taught at the Miami Valley Career Technology Center.

MORE: Democrats name new Montgomery County clerk of courts

Brush made technological improvements to the clerk of courts online public records website, instituted e-filing of court documents, added an RSS feature allowing people to electronically follow cases and revamped the clerk website.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed my time at the clerk’s office. I value that citizens put me back here three times,” said Brush, 54. “It’s been a great experience. It’s a great staff. It’s a great community to work in.”

County Democrats selected Russ Joseph to fill Brush’s term through 2020.

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One in custody after OSP pursuit on I-75 in Miami County

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 3:34 AM

A pursuit that occurred on northbound I-75 in Miami County ended with one suspect in police custody, officials say. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Police investigate reported robbery at Piqua Kroger

The pursuit started at the 67 milemarker and ended at the 73 milemarker early Friday morning, per initial reports.

The pursuit did not end in a crash and no injuries were reported, per officials.

Police also reportedly had someone at gunpoint on a ramp near where the pursuit ended.

We’re working to learn if a passenger reportedly fled, as officials were reportedly looking for an individual in the area where the pursuit ended. 

We’ll continue to update this story with more details. 

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Police investigate reported robbery at Kroger in Piqua

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 1:34 AM

Piqua police are investigating a robbery that occurred at the Kroger on Covington Avenue late Thursday night.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Woman threatens to shoot officers, arrested after standoff

According to officials, an individual dressed in all black entered the store around 11 p.m., demanded money from a cashier, and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The robber did not display any weapons during the incident and no one was harmed. 

Police are unsure if the person left on foot or in a vehicle.

The incident remains under investigation at this time. 

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Major Wright-Patt gate will temporarily close today

Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 10:00 AM
Updated: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:14 AM

Major Wright-Patt gate will temporarily close

A major gateway will close at Wright-Patterson today for maintenance, impacting the travel of thousands of commuters.

Gate 19B off National Road will be closed from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., according to base spokesman Daryl Mayer.

More than 5,700 inbound drivers travel through the entrance and nearly 6,300 drive off base through the gate every work day.

Crews will work on “routine maintenance” at the gateway, Mayer said.

RELATED: Wright-Patt gateway to close as part of security upgrade

“Since that (gate) is open 24/7 normally, they never have a chance to work on it,” he said.

Motorists may use Gates 1B off Springfield Street and Gate 22B off Interstate 675 as alternatives, according to Wright-Patterson.

Gate 19B had a major makeover last year with $1.3 million in upgrades that added overhead canopies, more guard booths and a barrier system, Wright-Patterson has said.

RELATED: Security concerns prompt Wright-Patt to close major gateway

The base closed Gate 26A off Ohio 235 because of security concerns this month. The gate, which had more than 5,000 vehicles a day, remains closed.

A new $10.5 million replacement gate, combining the current Gate 26A and the commercial truck entrance at Gate 16A off Ohio 444, is due to open late next year.

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Man jailed on suspicion of murder indicted on more charges

Published: Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 2:06 AM

A man already jailed on suspicion of murder in a Dayton homicide that occurred in January, was indicted Thursday on more charges.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Arrest made in Dayton man’s death over the weekend 

Kalvin K. Jones, 23, was indicted for aggravated possession of drugs and possession of cocaine, after a April 2017 case against him was reopened, according to online court documents.

Jones was already being held in Montgomery County Jail on a count of murder after he was accused in the death of Michael Cook, 21, found dead in an alley on Brooklyn Avenue.

He is being held on a $1 million bond on the murder charge, with a hearing set for June 22 in that case, court documents show.

Jones is scheduled to be arraigned on the drug charges Tuesday.

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