ABC 6 INVESTIGATES: Fairfield Co. Official's Lawyer Comments on Investigation
Updated: Wednesday, August 14 2013, 09:10 PM EDT
FAIRFIELD COUNTY, OHIO (Brooks Jarosz/Ken Hines) -- A lawyer representing Clerk of Courts Deborah Smalley has responded to media reports of a criminal investigation into financial activities within her office.
Smalley is asking that Fairfield County residents be made aware of some information that has not been reported, according to a media release from attorney Scott P. Wood.
In the release, Wood states that, “Deborah has responded to each and every request by the State Auditor’s Office, including providing voluminous documentation, providing immediate access to current employees, and attending a voluntary meeting with two representatives of the State Auditor’s Office, wherein she answered each and every question.
“During this meeting, the State Auditor’s Office did not present any evidence to substantiate any allegation of wrongdoing.”
State Auditor David Yost initiated the special audit following a preliminary investigation of activities of the clerk’s office. Allegations arose in mid-June from former employees who complained they were required to make campaign contributions and work on Smalley’s reelection effort while on county time.
ABC 6 Investigators found that it’s not only the clerk, but also her husband, who is now under the state's microscope.
Security cameras caught Dave Smalley using his wife's key card to enter the clerk’s office after-hours on June 30, bringing in and removing items to and from the building.
Fairfield County Sheriff David Phalen then sent a memo to courthouse staff members indicating that Smalley's electronic key fob should be terminated during the investigation.
Deborah Smalley will now have to use the public entrance to the courthouse.
“When this audit returns findings of no wrongdoing as to Deborah, we hope that those individuals who continue to make unfounded allegations are held accountable,” Wood said in his media release. “As Deborah has learned this week, even routine and innocent behavior can appear suspicious if presented out of context.”
The allegations against Smalley have been corroborated by the Auditor of State’s Office, according to documents obtained by ABC 6 Investigators.
“Deborah welcomes an immediate and thorough audit so this issue can be put behind her and she can go back to serving the citizens of Fairfield County,” Wood said.
Keep clicking abc6onyourside.com for the latest information about this unfolding investigation.