Sunday, December 21, 2014

Updated timeline shows path to sheriff’s resignation


Aug. 12, 2009

Jeff Curry is appointed by the Ottawa school board to fill the term of Lanette Stineman on the Ottawa Recreation Commission board.

Aug. 12, 2009

Jeff Curry is appointed by the Ottawa school board to fill the term of Lanette Stineman on the Ottawa Recreation Commission board.

April 23, 2010

Franklin County Sheriff Craig Davis announces resignation in The Herald after 9 1/2 years in office.

May 3, 2010

Lt. Curry is chosen by the Franklin County Republican Central Committee as its appointee to the sheriff’s office in a narrow vote. “I have been here for the long haul, and I intend to stay here for the long haul,” Curry said after the vote.

July 1, 2010

Curry takes sheriff’s oath of office on the steps of the Franklin County Courthouse.

July 23, 2010

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Sam Smith, 22, dies in a single-vehicle wreck near Pomona while responding to a domestic violence call, marking the first such death in the sheriff’s office’s history only a few weeks into Curry’s time in office.

May 12-19, 2011

Curry and Fredricks accompany the mother of Deputy Smith, Kathleen “Katie” Smith, on a trip to Washington, D.C. for National Police Week, which includes a memorial service for fallen law enforcement officers. Money from the Sheriff’s Trust, a fund containing money seized from drug busts, is used to partially fund the trip.

June 10, 2011

Copies of an anonymous letter arrive in the mailboxes of many local government, economic, civic, law enforcement and business leaders, including The Herald, detailing allegations of an inappropriate relationship between Curry and Heather Jones, Franklin County attorney.  

July 1, 2011

Curry’s childhood friend, Jerrod Fredricks, is appointed as public information officer for the sheriff’s office, cutting off most direct media access to the sheriff.

July 30, 2011

Herald publishes results of a weeks-long investigation into the anonymous letter and its allegations, largely reporting insufficient evidence and on-the-record confirmation to substantiate the claims about Curry and Jones.

Oct. 12, 2011

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Russel Geist, 28, dies of an apparent undetected heart condition, marking a second death for the sheriff’s office.

April 2, 2012

Jones announces plans to resign as Franklin County attorney to take a non-elected position with the Johnson County Attorney’s Office, saying, “I love being in the courtroom, but the political component was the least desirable part of my job.”

April 20, 2012

Curry files for sheriff, seeking his first election to the office to which he was appointed two years before.

May 22, 2012

Jones’ resignation takes effect with appointee Stephen Hunting succeeding her as Franklin County attorney.

May 30, 2012

Curry misuses confidential information related to law enforcement operations, according to a criminal complaint filed by J. Todd Hiatt, special prosecutor for the Franklin County Attorney’s Office.

July 31, 2012

Jones sends a political email from her Johnson County Attorney’s Office email account, campaigning on behalf of Curry’s sheriff bid in the primary election and violating state campaign finance law. The email encouraged, among other tactics, a letter-writing campaign, telling recipients, “You must talk about [Curry’s] lack of arrogance. You must talk about the positive way he treats his staff. You must talk about his dedication to the community. You must talk about his professionalism.”

Aug. 2, 2012

Curry tells The Herald he didn’t request nor know about the illegal campaign email before it was sent, noting that he told sheriff’s office employees not to open the emails.

Aug. 7, 2012

Curry wins Republican primary with more than 50 percent of the vote, defeating challengers Rick Croucher, a former law enforcement officer, and Rick Geist, a retired Ottawa police detective and father of fallen Deputy Russel Geist.

Sept. 19, 2012

Jones is fined $500 by the Kansas Government Ethics Commission after the group investigated a complaint about her July 31 campaign email.

Sept. 27, 2012

The Franklin County Sheriff’s office is served with a Kansas Bureau of Investigation search warrant, the details of which were not made public, indicating an ongoing investigation into the sheriff and his department.

Sept. 27, 2012

Curry falsely reports information during the course of an investigation, according to a criminal complaint filed by Hiatt, special prosecutor.

Oct. 3, 2012

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners votes to keep details of the search warrant executed on the sheriff’s office closed after several open records requests asking for the documents.

Oct. 5, 2012

Fredricks falsely reports information during the course of an investigation, according to a criminal complaint filed by Hiatt, special prosecutor.

October 2012

The sheriff’s office circulates a memo updating its policy on access to certain areas of the sheriff’s office building, restricting access but bringing policies more in line with other law enforcement agencies.

Oct. 15, 2012

Fredricks tells The Herald no policies have changed regarding access to the sheriff’s office building.

Oct. 27, 2012

Curry publicly accuses Jeanny Sharp, Herald editor and publisher, of attempting to discredit him and his office.

Nov. 6, 2012

Curry wins the general election with more than 85 percent of the vote, defeating write-in candidates Philip Brown and Byron Goracke.

Jan. 14, 2013

Curry is sworn in to office again, this time as the elected sheriff.

Feb. 27, 2013

Special prosecutor Hiatt files criminal complaints against Curry and Fredricks, alleging official misconduct and interference with law enforcement against the sheriff and interference with law enforcement against one of his top deputies. The complaints also list potential witnesses in the cases against the two men, including Jones, Fredricks and Katie Smith.

Feb. 27, 2013

Kansas Bureau of Investigation agents arrest Curry and Fredricks, later transporting them to be booked at the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Office.

Feb. 27, 2013

Hunting, Franklin County attorney, files civil ouster proceedings against Curry and urges the sheriff to resign.

Feb. 27, 2013

District Court Judge Thomas H. Sachse seals civil ouster case against Curry.

Feb. 27, 2013

Curry is bonded out of jail with Smith paying $3,000 cash surety.

Feb. 28, 2013

Longtime Undersheriff Steve Lunger assumes day-to-day duties of the sheriff’s office, though Curry remains sheriff.

March 5, 2013

Senior Judge John E. Sanders, El Dorado, replaces Magistrate Judge Kevin Kimball, of Franklin County District Court, as the presiding judge in the cases against Curry and Fredricks. The move follows a request from the Kansas Supreme Court that a judge from outside the Fourth Judicial Court District handle the cases.

March 6, 2013

Curry makes his first court appearance with attorney Trey Pettlon, Olathe, at this side.

March 11, 2013

The terms of Curry’s bond are changed, reversing a ban on the sheriff’s ability to communicate with potential witnesses in the case, as long as attorneys are present.

March 14, 2013

Dennis Butler, Ottawa police chief, and Jeffry Owen, with Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, are added to the list of planned witnesses in the cases against Curry and Fredricks.

March 18, 2013

Lisa Johnson, Franklin County administrator and counselor, confirms Fredricks is on paid administrative leave, but denies Herald requests for more information about the deputy’s employment status.

March 18, 2013

The Herald and attorney Mike Merriam, Topeka, file a motion to intervene in the newspaper’s bid to open sealed documents related to Curry’s civil and criminal court cases. The move follows about 12 largely failed open records requests from The Herald to various agencies associated with the cases.

March 21, 2013

Curry announces his plans to resign during the first hearing in the ouster proceedings filed by Hunting.


April 1, 2013

Curry’s resignation is set to become effective with Undersheriff Lunger formally taking over duties until a new sheriff is appointed by the Franklin County Republican Central Committee and approved by Gov. Sam Brownback. Ouster proceedings against Curry are expected to be formally dropped April 2 once his resignation is complete.

April 1, 2013

Special prosecutor Hiatt and attorney Pettlon are expected to present their arguments against opening the sealed documents in Curry’s civil and criminal cases.

April 1, 2013

A preliminary hearing is set for Curry and Fredricks in the criminal cases against them.

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