COLUMBUS– Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart’s retirement isn’t going to last long.
Auditor of State Keith Faber announced Monday Lenhart will join the Auditor’s Office as the liaison to law enforcement offices throughout Ohio.
“Ohio’s local law enforcement officers serve on the frontline in the battle against fraud and corruption in our public entities,” Faber said. “I’ve worked with John extensively over the years and I am confident that the experience and relationships he brings will be an enormous asset in allowing us to better assist our partners in identifying and bringing justice to those that violate the public’s trust cheating Ohio’s taxpayers.”
After eight terms as Shelby County Sheriff, Lenhart will leave his post at the end of this term to assist in the Auditor’s Office fight against fraud and public corruption. In this role, Lenhart will help to foster relationships with local level law enforcement agencies to ensure they continue to receive the resources and assistance they need from the Auditor’s office.
“I’ve spent much of my career helping to ensure that Ohioans are safe from anyone that might do them harm,” said Lenhart. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the Auditor’s team and share my experience and expertise with law enforcement agencies across the state.”
Lenhart brings 54 years of law enforcement experience to the Auditor’s Office. He began his career in the Shelby County Sheriff’s office at the age of 25, eventually being elected sheriff in 1976. Lenhart served Shelby County as sheriff from 1976-1991 and 2009- 2020. He also spent time as the superintendent of Bureau of Criminal Investigations and Identification, director of law enforcement for Attorney General Richard Cordray, and security in the private sector.
Lenhart is a graduate from the FBI Academy and, for a time, led the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association. He has received numerous awards and been recognized nationally for his work as sheriff, including the Ferris E Lucas Sheriff of the Year award from the National Sheriffs’ Association – the only sheriff in Ohio to win the award and the smallest county to ever be recognized.
“Sheriff Lenhart will bring a wide array of knowledge to the State Auditor’s staff,” said Bob Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye Sheriffs Association. “John has been a mentor to me and many sheriffs throughout his public and private life. I wish him the best in his new role and look forward to working with him in a different capacity”.
At any given time, the Auditor’s Office has roughly 140 open investigations into public corruption. Having a strong relationship with local law enforcement is pivotal to successful investigations and the crack down on fraud, waste, and abuse.