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OH Auditor: Suspension Considered for Arrested Fairfield Co. Official
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines/Brooks Jarosz) -- Ohio's auditor may try to suspend a Fairfield County official who was arrested Wednesday following an investigation into alleged financial improprieties.
Authorities have charged Clerk of Courts Deborah Smalley with theft in office, while her husband, Dave, faces a count of complicity to unlawful interest in a public contract.
Deborah Smalley was released from jail shortly after her arrest following her payment of a $1500 personal recognizance bond, but she failed to report to work at the Fairfield County Courthouse on Thursday.
Dave Smalley was released on his own recognizance on Wednesday.
State attorneys are working to determine whether Smalley can be suspended from her clerk of court duties pending the resolution of her case, according to Ohio Auditor Dave Yost.
The Smalleys' arrests were the results of a special audit ordered by Yost in August following a preliminary investigation into activities at the clerk's office.
The investigation concerned allegations that arose in mid-June, when former employees complained they were required to make campaign contributions and work on Smalley's reelection effort while on county time.
After the allegations came to light, security cameras caught Dave Smalley using his wife's key card to enter the clerk's office after business hours on June 30, bringing into, and removing items from, the building.
Authorities decided to arrest the Smalleys on Wednesday amid fears they were planning to leave the area because of an auction of their personal property that was planned, but later canceled.
The Smalleys, who recently spent time in Canada, have been ordered to surrender their passports. They are scheduled to appear in court on October 11.
Representatives from the auditor's office are speaking with the Smalleys' lawyers about the possibility of a plea deal, according to Yost.