Commissioners to hire investigator to look into complaint against sheriff

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — The Meigs County Commissioners voted unanimously to hire a third party to look into a complaint received against Sheriff Keith Wood by one of the sergeants at the sheriff’s office.

The commissioners met in executive session for 38 minutes with Prosecutor James K. Stanley regarding legal matters as part of Thursday’s regular meeting.

After coming out of the closed-door session, president of the Meigs County Commissioners Randy Smith stated that at 8:21 a.m. that morning he and Commissioner Jimmy Will received an email letter from Sgt. Curtis Jones of the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office titled “Complaint on Sheriff Keith Wood.” Commissioner Tim Ihle did not receive the email, which was also sent to Major Scott Trussell, as Ihle’s email address was typed incorrectly according to discussions.

A copy of the letter was provided to The Daily Sentinel after being addressed in the meeting.

The letter, which was dated July 5, 2020, from Jones read as follows:

To whom it may concern. On July 4th, 2020 at around 1030 a.m. I Curtis Jones and my wife Kimberly Jones were watching the Racine parade at the Racine Fire Department. While watching the parade my wife was wearing a shirt that said “Mony Wood for Sheriff”/ As the sheriff, Keith Wood, passed by us he pointed at my wife and while looking at me stated “Where’s your shirt at?” At which time I replied, “I don’t have one.” This made my wife and I upset, and I felt threatened due to past actions of Sheriff Wood. It was none of his business what my wife was wearing and her political views are also none of his business. He did this while in a county owned vehicle while in his uniform. He also stated to the Officer Oliver of the Syracuse Police Department after the parade that I, Curtis Jones, need to get one of the Mony Wood for Sheriff shirts. My political views are also my own and due to this harassment, I feel that the Sheriff will retaliate against me in the future. I feel that the Sheriff Wood violated Section V page 5 thru 8 and XVIII Political activity pages 25-26 of the Meigs County Personnel Policy Manual. I do not wish to go into the details of this full complaint due to the fact I feel Major Scott Trussell will inform Sheriff Wood of the full content of the complaint thus tampering with its outcome. Maj. Scott Trussell was informed that I wanted to file this complaint with someone other than him since I felt this complaint would not be investigated properly due to prior incidents with him. According to the county hand book Section (V) F which was issued to me by Major Trussell, this complaint can be filed with up to 2 no more than 4 people and according to section J it covers all employees and Elected Officials so I am filing with the Meigs County Commissioners and adhering to the Sheriffs policy I am filing with Major Scott Trussell under protest.”

Commissioner Smith stated on Friday that he will be reaching out to an individual with a law firm in Cincinnati regarding conducting the third party investigation as authorized by the commissioners during Thursday’s meeting.

When contacted by The Daily Sentinel on Friday, Sheriff Keith Wood said he had not yet seen the complaint, and would respond as needed after receiving it.

The Meigs County Commissioners meet each Thursday at 11 a.m.

© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.