Reportedly on her way to return her vehicle, now retired Scioto County Sheriff’s office manager Karen Coleman crashed her car in the Sheriff’s office parking lot.
Why this wreck is of issue comes down to what the Commissioners described as a failed return procedure of the vehicle. It is their belief that Karen should have dropped off the keys on the day of her retirement, which the Sheriff’s Office reported to be Dec. 18 in a Facebook post.
This considerable amount of time between the retirement and return has placed the county and its taxpayers in a liable position said Commissioner Bryan Davis.
“This was just reckless,” he said, indicating a lack of professionalism from retired Sheriff Marty Donini. “It shouldn’t have ever happened.”
Commissioner Cathy Coleman compared the situation to a worker handing in office materials to their employer on a last day of work. Davis believes the vehicle was in Karen’s possession for at least nine days following her retirement.
“Even though she was returning the vehicle to her employer, it was way past the time,” she said. “It should have been done the same day, her last day of work.”
The estimated cost is believed to be over $5,000 and would come through the County Risk-Sharing Association, an additional form of liability insurance. Davis and Cathy plan on fighting this and believe Karen should be responsible for the costs through her private insurance.
“Someone is going to have the pay the bill,” Davis added, where the Commissioners are also looking for video copies to see if Karen was driving the vehicle before the incident. “I’m not going to sign off on it.”
This incident is the latest in the series of tiffs between the Commissioners and the Sheriff’s Office, most recently dating back to a significant payroll increase for two administrative employees in October.
Karen and Chief Deputy Todd Miller, both retiring last month, saw their pay increase from $28.95 to $38.95 and $26.26 to $46.36 respectively through the use of non-general funds by Donini. Both the Commissioners and the PortsmouthDailyTimes requested details from the former sheriff but received no comment.
“We’ve already been in contact with Sheriff Thoroughman and lines of communication are already setup,” reads a message from Davis. “Working together, we anticipate a great improvement in the leadership of this department.”
Not a full week in his new role, Thoroughman announced Wednesday that the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force had carried out an investigation leading to arrest of three people in Franklin Furnace.
The Task Force, composed of narcotics detectives from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized of $36,200 worth of methamphetamine and powder believed to be fentanyl, seven firearms and $28,308 in cash.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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