Lawrence crime, fire, courts coverage
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Ottawa Franklin County Sheriff Jeffry Curry and Deputy Jerrod W. Fredricks were arrested by the KBI on Wednesday on felony charges of interference with a law enforcement officer, though few details about the allegations were immediately available.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Ottawa, County Attorney Stephen Hunting said the charges stemmed from an investigation that was made public last September, though very little has been said about the nature of that probe. He declined to provide details, citing an ongoing investigation. The complaint against Curry is sealed under court order.
The Journal-World filed an open records request last fall with Franklin County for emails sent to and from Curry’s office for a two-week period prior to the KBI search warrants being served in September. That request was denied because the volume of emails during that period placed “an unreasonable burden on the county to produce.”
In addition to the obstruction charge, Curry also faces a charge of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
Curry and Fredricks were booked Wednesday into the Wyandotte County Jail in Kansas City, Kan. Curry will remain the sheriff of Franklin County unless he resigns or is removed by an ouster process that usually takes about two months, Hunting said.
“Until he is ousted from office, he remains the sheriff,” he said.
Curry was released Wednesday on a $3,000 bond. Fredricks was released on a $1,500 bond. Both men are scheduled to appear in court March 6.
The Franklin County Sheriff's office confirmed in September that it was the subject of an investigation by the KBI. Fredricks said at the time that the office was "cooperating fully with the investigation," but no other details had come out until today's arrest. Curry was appointed sheriff in 2010 and reelected in November.
Hunting said the charges were filed in Franklin County District Court, and the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office will act as a special prosecutor in the case at Hunting's request.