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Sheriff's captain resigns after sex-harassment claims

TNS Regional News • Jan 14, 2014 at 1:07 PM

By Eric Lyttle - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

A 27-year veteran of the Licking County sheriff’s office has resigned amid allegations of sexual harassment from a fellow deputy.

Capt. Pat Claprood submitted his letter of resignation to Sheriff Randy Thorp on Dec. 7, citing “a desire to spend more time with my family and other personal interests in the future.”

The letter came the same day that a three-page formal complaint was submitted to Thorp by Sgt. Misty VanBalen, a 15-year department veteran. She said that Claprood had made numerous inappropriate sexual advances over the previous five years.

Allegations included unwanted advances such as Claprood running his hand up her thigh during a conference and putting his hand in her back pocket on “numerous occasions,” as well as conversations in which he referred to his sexual performances.

After receiving the complaint, Thorp and Chief Deputy Chad Dennis called in Claprood and allowed him to read the complaint and respond.

“He denied any of the allegations involving physical activity but said that some of the allegations regarding conversations between them did take place or could have taken place,” Dennis said.

“The sheriff advised him that he wouldn’t be able to continue in his current position and, at that point, Pat chose to resign.”

Dennis said the Dec. 7 letter was the first time either he or the sheriff had heard of the complaint against Claprood.


©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

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