LIMA — Allen County Sheriff Sam Crish is the subject of a criminal investigation by the FBI, but the nature of that investigation is unknown.
FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson said Thursday she could confirm FBI agents were in Allen County conducting an investigation on Wednesday. She wouldn’t elaborate why they searched the sheriff’s office.
“I am not at liberty to go into details on that,” she said. “Some information may be unsealed next week.”
Anderson also would not say whether Crish was the subject of the investigation, but sources said FBI agents served a search warrant at the Allen County Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday. She said there have been no arrests.
Crish did not answer his cell phone Thursday and did not return calls seeking comment.
Lima attorney Michael Rumer said he is representing Crish.
“We are representing Sam. That is the extent of what I can say,” Rumer said.
Former Allen County Sheriff Dan Beck said he has heard rumors. Beck said he has not been contacted to assist anyone at the sheriff’s office but may if asked.
“It’s very unfortunate, and there are a tremendous amount of good people at the sheriff’s office. I don’t know what is going on. The FBI does not come in and serve a search warrant on a sitting sheriff unless they got quite a few facts they know are true,” Beck said.
Beck said he has not spoken to the FBI.
Ohio Attorney General Spokeswoman Jill DelGreco said Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents did assist FBI agents in Allen County in an investigation Wednesday, but she referred further questions to the FBI.
Crish was not at the sheriff’s office on Thursday. He had not submitted a resignation to the Allen County Sheriff’s Office or the Allen County Board of Elections as of Thursday afternoon, meaning he remains the sheriff.
Staff Lt. Matt Treglia said he cannot comment about an FBI investigation or where the sheriff was.
“We want the citizens of Allen County to know no one man runs the sheriff’s office, and the rank and file is in place to keep the citizens of Allen County safe. It’s business as usual,” Treglia said.
Treglia said Chief Deputy Jimmy Everett is in charge without Crish there. Treglia is second in command.
Crish is unopposed in the November election as a Republican. He was first elected in 2008 and began his term in January 2009. Allen County Republican Chairman Keith Cheney could not be reached for comment.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.