A charge of sexual battery against former Shelby County Sheriff Dean Kimpel was formally dismissed Friday in Auglaize County Common Pleas Court for crimes committed in Auglaize County along with three of four felony charges he was facing in Shelby County.
Acting Judge Sumner Walters, who is retired from Van Wert County, affirmed the case be dismissed. The case alleged Kimpel engaged in sex with a former Shelby County deputy, Jodi Van Fossen, at her rural Wapakoneta home when he knew she was drinking and had recently taken a dose of medication.
Special Prosecuting Attorneys Gary Nasal and Anthony Kendall, along with Kimpel and his attorney, Michael Rumer, appeared in court Friday morning soon after Kimpel was sentenced on one count of unauthorized use of Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG), a fifth-degree felony in Shelby County Common Pleas Court.
OHLEG is a tool for law enforcement officials to use for personal information and requires a password so use can be tracked.
The Shelby County judge sentenced Kimpel
to two years probation and a $1,000 fine.
A deal was struck April 13 when Kimpel agreed to plead guilty to the charge. In exchange, the three other charges would be dismissed. It was agreed that the Auglaize County charge would be dismissed after Kimpel was sentenced in Shelby County, which was done at 10 a.m. Friday.
On Sept. 22, Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Kimpel on the charge of sexual battery after former sheriff’s deputy Jodi Van Fossen said he engaged in sexual contact with her in July at her rural Auglaize County home north of Jackson Center. Court documents claimed Kimpel knew Van Fossen was substantially impaired after drinking an alcoholic beverage and taking medication.
Kimpel had filed a motion to have the charge in Auglaize County dismissed after testifying April 2 that he felt he had been speaking under the veil of immunity when he spoke to investigators Sept. 1. The Garrity warning is an advisement of rights administered by agents to public employees and contractors during internal investigations. The Garrity warning came to the forefront in 1967 when a police officer in New Jersey was compelled to make a statement or be fired, then was criminally prosecuted for his statement.
Garrity is designed to protect constitutional rights while also helping agents preserve the evidentiary value of statements in internal investigations.
Kimpel admitted he did testify during an Auglaize County grand jury hearing after being read his Miranda Rights, but his defense attorney argued that questions applied in the grand jury hearing came about from the internal investigation.
A deal was struck before the Garrity warning issue was decided.
Van Fossen also filed a civil suit July 7 alleging job discrimination. The lawsuit named Kimpel and Capt. Michael Eilerman. The suit sought more than $300,000 in damages. A settlement was reached for $105,000.