The full scope of an obstruction of justice case against Franklin County Sheriff Jeffry Curry and a deputy remains unclear, but a few details of the allegations are beginning to surface in court documents.
Curry and Deputy Jerrod W. Fredricks were arrested by special agents of the KBI on Wednesday and charged with felony counts of interference with a law enforcement officer. Curry also faces a charge of official misconduct, a misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint filed by a special prosecutor from the Shawnee County District Attorney's Office, Curry is accused of using confidential information gained through his office for personal gain on May 30 and then making false statements to investigators on Sept. 27.
Criminal complaint against Curry ( .PDF )
Fredricks, who served as public information officer for the sheriff's office, is accused of making false statements on Oct. 5, after the investigation had been made public. The circumstances of these alleged incidents remain unclear, however.
Criminal complaint against Fredricks ( .PDF )
Among the witnesses expected to be called in the criminal case are former Franklin County Attorney Heather R. Jones, who now works in the Johnson County District Attorney's Office; Fredricks; Lt. Adam Weingartner of the Ottawa Police Department; KBI laboratory staff; Wyandotte County officials; an unnamed confidential informant; and Sheri McCracken, a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office for Kansas.
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon in Ottawa, Franklin County Attorney Stephen Hunting asked for Curry to resign immediately and 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.
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.
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Curry and Fredricks were booked Wednesday into the Wyandotte County Jail in Kansas City, Kan., and posted bond later that day. Both men are prohibited from carrying firearms as a condition of bond, which was set at $3,000 for Curry and $1,500 for Fredricks.
Curry will remain the sheriff of Franklin County unless he resigns or is removed.
Hunting filed a civil case against Curry Wednesday in Franklin County Court that could remove him from office in about two months. The allegations included in that case were sealed by order of Franklin County District Judge Thomas Sachse.
“Until he is ousted from office, he remains the sheriff,” Hunting said.
Both men are scheduled to appear in court at 11 a.m. next Wednesday.
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 Wednesday's arrest. Curry was appointed sheriff in 2010 and voters returned him to office in November.
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.”