Complaints filed about election improprieties


By Melanie Speicher - mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com



SIDNEY — A Piqua man has filed four complaints with the Sidney Police Department. The complaints deal with election improprieties and a former Shelby County sheriff is listed as a witness on the forms.

An outside agency will investigate the complaints before any charges are filed.

Jack R. Bastian, 58, of Piqua, filed the complaints on Jan. 6. Former Shelby County Sheriff Dean Kimpel, 56, of Botkins, is the listed witness.

The four offenses are election falsification; prohibited acts concerning declaration or petitions; theft in office of government property; and misconduct of members/employees of the Shelby County Board of Elections. The incidents allegedly occurred between Sept. 9, 2011, and Jan. 1, 2013.

Listed as victims are the Shelby County Commissioners. Names of the people listed in the complaint won’t be released until the review is complete, said Sidney Police Chief Will Balling, because no charges have been filed.

Once the review is complete, the findings will be released.

“Since we haven’t investigated it, we don’t know if there is any truth to the allegations,” said Balling.

Because of a possible conflict of interest, Balling sought an outside agency to review the complaints.

The complaints were filed with the city of Sidney, said Balling, because the alleged incidents took place within the city limits.

“Anyone can report an incident and it does not matter where they live. For a law enforcement agency to take a report from someone the primary deciding factor is where the reported incident took place. In this scenario the reported incidents allegedly took place inside the city of Sidney,” said Balling.

Sidney Police Capt. Jerry A. Tangeman, who took the initial report, wrote, “Working collectively, Bastian and Kimpel have compiled an accumulation of documents that they feel support their belief that violations of the Ohio Revised Code have been violated.

“Upon review of the facts and documents provided by the complainants, issues were characterized that warrant further followup investigation,” Tangeman continued. “Due to the fact that one of the complainants is a former Shelby County sheriff as well as a former Sidney Police officer and (because) the named suspects are current elected officials of Shelby County and a former employee of BCI (the Bureau of Criminal Investigation), it is in the best interest of the Shelby County community that an outside independent law-enforcement agency take a lead role in reviewing this matter.”

At this time, the name of the outside agency has not been released.

Balling said he met with the outside agency to review the complaints.

“We met with the outside agency due to the conflict involved because we deal with both agencies,” said Balling. “The outside agency agreed to review it so it’s fair to all parties.”

It is unknown how long the review will take or how much it will cost taxpayers, said Balling.

Until the review is complete, no other other information will be available. Once the review is complete, all information will become public record, said Balling.

By Melanie Speicher

mspeicher@aimmedianetwork.com

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.