Public corruption investigated

A public corruption investigation has been underway in Brown County for over a year.
Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force Commander John Burke said there may be as many as 25 victims of the corruption activity.
Burke said he could not be more specific about what activity by public officials was at the center of the investigation, or how the victims were victimized, but he did say the investigation began with an allegation of illegal conduct by Brown County Municipal Court Probation Officer Dale Anderson.
Anderson has been indicted on Sexual Battery charges. The case was filed February 9.
“Because of this indictment of Dale Anderson, we can announce that we have an Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Task Force ongoing.  We couldn’t release that until the first indictment,” Burke said.
Anderson is accused in the indictment of “engaging is sexual conduct with (a victim) when he had supervisory or disciplinary authority over the victim who was in the custody of law.”
Anderson was suspended without pay by Brown County Municipal Judge Joe Worley on December 21, 2016.  He had been working as a probation officer for the court since January of 2007.
“Dale has been an employee here for years.  I would find this to be totally out of character for Dale.  Hard to believe.  But I have duty to probationers, to the public to the system itself and had  to take the appropriate action which was to suspend him,” said Worley.
Burke said he could not be specific on how many more indictments would be forthcoming.
“It’s just going to depend on how the investigation unfolds,” Burke said.
“This is still an ongoing investigation and there are possibilities of more indictments, but we will not release further information until the investigation is concluded.”
Burke said that Detective Matt Staggs is the primary investigator on the case and he is being assisted by two attorneys from the investigative arm of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Staggs said that the investigation into Anderson was not the only avenue being pursued by investigators.
“There are multiple investigations crossing paths,” Staggs said.
Burke said that investigators would like to hear from anyone who feels that they have been mistreated by anyone working in the Brown County Judicial system.
“We are interesting in talking to anyone else who feels they may have information on this.  It’s an ongoing thing,” Burke said.
“We have indicted Mr. Anderson.  So if there is anyone who has additional information that has not come forward, or anybody associated with him, we would like to hear from them.”
When asked if Burke specifically meant current or former probationers who felt they had been mistreated, Burke replied “Yes, but it doesn’t have to be just probationers.  Anybody that thinks they can add to our investigation is asked to come forward, but certainly probationers are people of interest.”
Anyone wishing to contact investigators is asked to call the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office at (937) 378-4151.