Sheriff’s office lawsuit resolved

More than a year after it was filed, a lawsuit between Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks and former deputy Jack Brum has been settled with Brum receiving his requested retired peace officer identification card and Mincks paying attorney fees in the case.

Brum, who worked for the sheriff’s office from 1988 to 2009, first requested the ID in December 2012, but was told he would not be issued one without first following certain steps. The ID cards mean the retired officer can carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states.

He filed an order with the court in February 2013 with the intent of forcing the matter legally.

Mincks issued Brum the ID in December, a year after Brum’s request, and requested the case be dismissed. But the case continued until July when court costs and attorney fees were finally settled.

The settlement bars both parties from discussing the terms.

“I can only say it’s been settled. We agreed not to say anything else,” said Brum Friday.

Mincks also declined to comment.

In response to a public records request regarding the department policy on issuance of ID cards, Mincks said he does not believe a written policy exists.

According to the filing in the case, Mincks was ordered to pay $1,500 in attorney fees to Jack’s attorney, Nancy Brum, also his wife.

The sheriff’s office will ultimately be responsible for those fees, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“He was sued as sheriff, for something done under the sheriff’s responsibilities,” explained Schneider.

Schneider initially responded to the case, but it was taken over by Columbus-based law firm Fishel, Haas, Kim, and Albrecht LLP, which is contracted with the sheriff’s office.

Attorney Daniel Downey, who is listed as a representing attorney on several court filings in the case, did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

Despite the seemingly favorable resolution for Brum, another former deputy who has also been denied an ID does not plan on pursuing the matter further.

“Basically I was considering filing a lawsuit also. Then I read a clause (in the Ohio Revised Code) that said you had to be a full-time employee there for 15 years (to be required to be given one),” said retired Lt. Dana Spencer.

Spencer requested an ID last year and was told he could not have one because he was not yet receiving retirement benefits.

He asked again after receiving benefits in February and was told he had to go through the Adult Parole Authority, where he worked for 30 years prior to being hired on as a part-time Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy in 2002.

He served in a full-time position with the office between 2009 and 2012.

Spencer said he is uncertain whether the Adult Parole Authority offers retired ID cards at all.

“To me it wasn’t that big a deal. I’d like to have had one. I have a concealed carry permit that I’d like to be able to carry in every state…It’s a nice thing to have to show that you were recognized for your years of service,” concluded Spencer.