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Monday, April 01, 2013 3:52 PM

Petition: Sheriff tipped off lover on meth probe

By The Herald Staff

Alison Auxter, an attorney with Lathrop & Gage from Kansas City, Mo., representing The Kansas City Star and KCTV-5 News, and Mike Merriam, a Topeka attorney representing The Ottawa Herald, left, argue Monday to open documents regarding the civil ouster petition filed against Franklin County Sheriff Jeff Curry during a hearing for Curry at Franklin County District Court, 301 S. Main St., Ottawa. (Photo by Matt Bristow/The Ottawa Herald)

The unsealed civil ouster petition against Jeff Curry accused the Franklin County sheriff of tipping off his alleged lover about an investigation into allegations she purchased methamphetamine. 

Curry and his defense lawyer contended again Monday the details of the petition were untrue.

Details of the allegations against Curry had been sealed by order of the Franklin County District Court, though no reason for sealing the documents was given. Unsealing the documents came in response to The Herald’s court efforts to open the petition to the public.

According to the document, Curry admitted in September that he informed former Franklin County Attorney Heather Jones “she had been identified [by a confidential informant] and was now going to be a subject in the ongoing federal drug investigation.”  

“The defendant denied ever having an inappropriate or sexual relationship with Heather Jones,” the document reads. “[Curry’s] assertions that he did not have an intimate and sexual relationship with Heather Jones were false. In fact, he and Heather Jones were involved in an ongoing, intimate and sexual relationship at the time of the May and September interviews.”

By using the information and notifying Jones, the document states, Curry committed an official misconduct misdemeanor.

Curry was arrested Feb. 27 by KBI agents on a felony charge of interference with law enforcement and a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct.

The sheriff announced his resignation plans March 21 during the first hearing of the ouster proceedings filed against him after his arrest. Appointed sheriff in 2010 and then elected in 2012, Curry’s resignation was to become official at 5 p.m. today.

The ouster petition was to be dismissed after his resignation took effect.

Criminal charges in the case against Curry were set to be dismissed if he successfully completes a 12-month diversion agreement, in which he is required to surrender his law enforcement license.

For more details on this breaking news story, See Tuesday’s Herald.

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