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Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas Receives Ohio Auditor’s Public Integrity Award
Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas (left) speaks after receiving an award
from Auditor of State Dave Yost on May 16, 2018. (Click to enlarge)
Columbus – Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas was awarded the Auditor of State’s Public Integrity Award today for the support his office provided during an investigation of York Township.
Auditor of State Dave Yost presented the award to Sheriff Lucas today at the Buckeye State Sheriffs Association’s spring gathering in Columbus. The award recognizes sheriffs and prosecutors for their cooperation and contributions to the Auditor’s office.
“In one fell swoop, Sheriff Lucas and his team captured a dangerous criminal and assisted in collecting the evidence needed to bring charges against a dishonest public official,” Auditor Yost said. “It is a privilege to recognize Sheriff Lucas and his deputies for this true demonstration of teamwork.”
On Nov. 10, 2017, the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Auditor’s office with a search warrant executed at the residence of former York Township Fiscal Officer Dawn Lee. The warrant stemmed from an investigation into the misuse of public funds, but deputies also believed a fugitive wanted for a violent crime was holed up in the house.
When the occupants of the home refused to answer the door, deputies made a forced entry and arrested the fugitive, who was hiding in a shower. Sheriff Lucas and his team assisted state investigators in the search, locating drugs, a loaded firearm and items important to the investigation.
The search was critical to the investigation, which identified public misspending of $98,000 at the township and its water authority. As a result, Lee and two family members were indicted in March on 37 charges, including theft in office, tampering with records and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
A special audit of the township is still in progress.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.