Deputy Suspended While Under Investigation

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A deputy who was reinstated after appealing his termination from the Athens County Sheriff’s Office has been suspended with pay pending an investigation against him.

Deputy Shannon Sheridan has been suspended since an investigation began at the beginning of September, according to Interim Sheriff Rodney Smith. The details of the investigation have not been released by the sheriff’s office because it is still ongoing, Smith said in a previous Messenger article.

Smith said in order to protect the integrity of the investigation and to protect the deputy from outside scrutiny before the investigation was complete, he would not divulge the nature of the investigation or the possible outcomes for the deputy.

An official from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office confirmed last week that a sergeant from the office had been sent to conduct an investigation, but declined to comment on the nature of the investigation.

Sheridan has been back as a deputy for four months since he was reinstated by the State Board of Personnel Review.

The board was asked to rule on an appeal of his termination by Sheriff Patrick Kelly. Kelly fired Sheridan after accusations of sexual harassment and insubordination were leveled against the deputy.

Sheridan appealed his termination, the board ordered he be reinstated and the sheriff’s office appealed that decision. The ruling was still under appeal when Smith was appointed sheriff due to Kelly’s suspension. An agreement was negotiated between the sheriff’s office and Sheridan, but a civil suit is still ongoing in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

The negotiation agreed upon by Sheridan and the sheriff’s office reportedly included a “Last Chance Agreement” that said that any infraction committed by Sheridan could lead to his termination.