Reinstated Deputy Under Investigation

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An Athens County Sheriff’s Office deputy reinstated just four months ago is now under investigation, according to information received through a public records request.

Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith would not confirm or deny any details of an investigation into Deputy Shannon Sheridan when asked about it Friday.

A public records request filed Friday with the Athens County Sheriff’s Office asked for any documents regarding Sheridan being placed on leave since his reinstatement in May 2014.

In a response to the request, the sheriff’s office provided a statement saying “policy is we cannot release any information on our employees while there is an ongoing investigation.”

Sheridan was reinstated at the sheriff’s office after filing suit with the State Personnel Board of Review for wrongful termination.

He was fired by now-suspended Sheriff Patrick Kelly in 2012 after accusations of insubordination and sexual harassment were leveled against him, according to previous Messenger reporting. He appealed his termination to the state board one week after his firing.

An administrative law judge recommended that Sheridan be reinstated, and the board of review agreed with the recommendation of the judge. The sheriff’s office appealed the decision, but decided to stop the appeal process and negotiate with Sheridan in April.

Sheridan returned to work in May and probationary deputy Sam Disaia was fired to make room for the return of Sheridan. Due to budget constraints, the county could not pay both deputies.