Feb 28, 2014

Sheriff terminates deputy after Sexual Battery charges filed

BY RYAN BERRY

MANAGING EDITOR
GREENVILLE – Former Darke County Auxiliary Sheriff Deputy Bryan Wombolt, 27, of Versailles, had served the Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol since September 2012 and pledged to uphold the law. His pledge and the trust Darke County residents placed in him was shattered on Feb. 27 when he was arrested on four counts of Sexual Battery. The incident allegedly occurred with a high school student.

Darke County Sheriff Toby Spencer expressed his regret regarding the situation shortly after Wombolt’s arrest, stating his main concern was the victim and the victim’s family. He also conceded Wombolt’s actions hurt the reputation of the current men and women serving the Darke County Sheriff’s Department.

Spencer laid out the groundwork for Wombolt’s termination as a deputy. On Feb. 26, the Darke County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office that a Darke County Auxiliary Deputy was involved in a domestic dispute in Bradford. A supervisor was dispatched to the scene to meet with Miami County Deputies. During the course of the investigation, allegations were made that Wombolt had engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a high school student. The Greenville Police Department was contacted and requested to conduct an investigation into the allegations.

Sheriff Spencer said, “The criminal investigation by the Greenville Police Department and the internal administrative investigation of the Darke County Sheriff’s Office are separate investigations.” At the conclusion of the sheriff’s department investigation, it was determined Wombolt violated several policies and procedures and was terminated.

“The Darke County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate the actions of this person and he has been disciplined appropriately. He was placed in a position of public trust and this trust was violated.”

According to the disciplinary report released by the Sheriff’s Office, Wombolt was terminated for: 1) Soliciting or accepting a gift, gratuity, bribe, or reward for the private use of the employee, or otherwise using one’s position, identification, name, photograph or title for the personal gain, or otherwise violating the Employer’s Code of Conduct or Ohio’s ethics laws for public employees. 2) Violation of any laws, which the employee is responsible to enforce in his capacity as an employee of the Sheriff’s Office. 3) Any conduct which brings discredit to the Sheriff’s Office or the employee as a public employee.

The disciplinary report given to Wombolt at his termination, states, “The facts in this case have been reviewed along with your admissions to the Greenville Police Department that you engaged in a sexual relationship with a high school student that y0u met and started communicating with as a result of your duty as a Deputy Sheriff.” Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker noted Wombolt did not make any comments during his termination.

Immediately following his termination, the Greenville Police Department took Wombolt into custody at the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. He is currently incarcerated at the Preble County Jail awaiting a bond hearing. Sheriff Spencer noted he was transferred to Preble County so he would not have an opportunity to speak badly of the victim. He said, “The Darke County Sheriff’s Office deeply regrets what has occurred here. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victim and family involved in this matter. We will do whatever is necessary to support them.”

He continued, “We support and strongly encourage the aggressive prosecution of Bryan Wombolt to the fullest extent of the law. He has violated the trust of our community’s most precious citizens and will be held accountable for his actions. The staff of this office is just as disgusted with the actions of this officer as the rest of the community.”

Wombolt is a graduate of Ansonia Local Schools and the Edison Community College Police Academy. At the time of his hire with the Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol he was in the Army Reserves and served as an Army Military Policeman.

The Darke County Sheriff’s Patrol is a volunteer organization and its members have full arresting powers. They provide service for local athletic events and the Darke County Fair. Each Patrol member is required to donate eight hours a month of road work to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office. Spencer said, “There’s not a one of them I don’t trust and one of them has violated that trust. We will have to do everything we possibly can to re-earn the public’s trust because of this one incident.”

Sheriff Toby Spencer (center) was joined by Chief Deputy Mark Whittaker (right) and Captain Randy Linkous at a press conference announce the termination of Bryan Wombolt. (Ryan Berry photo)

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