KCTV5 argues for unsealing Franklin Co. Sheriff arrest records - KCTV5 News

UPDATE

Prosecutor: Franklin County sheriff tipped off lover about meth investigation

Posted: Updated:
OTTAWA, KS (KCTV) -

The Franklin County sheriff tipped off his lover, a former county prosecutor, that she was under investigation for purchasing methamphetamine, according to court records.

Heather Jones, the former county attorney for Franklin County, is now head of the sex crimes and child abuse division for the Johnson County District Attorney's Office.

Her attorney said the allegations are false, and should have never been made public.

Prosecutors got the court documents related to Sheriff Jeff Curry's arrest sealed and refused to make any details public. Franklin County attorney Stephen Hunting had refused to discuss the wrongdoing by Curry, who was re-elected in November while authorities were undertaking a covert action of his actions.

KCTV5, the Ottawa Herald and The Kansas City Star filed the motions last month after Curry was charged with interfering with a criminal action. A Butler County judge heard the news organizations' request to unseal the documents during a hearing Monday, and then ruled this afternoon that the documents should be made public.

"There just simply are not any factual circumstances that are compelling and would outweigh the public's right to know," said Butler County Judge John Sanders who had been appointed to handle the case.

Curry has since resigned his position and entered into a plea deals with prosecutors. Details of the case were sealed and not available to the media.

In April, Jones announced she was stepping down as Franklin County attorney to go work as an assistant county attorney for Johnson County. Her resignation with Franklin County took effect May 22 and she began work in Johnson County shortly after that.

It was unclear how Monday's news would affect her current position. No charges have been filed against Jones.

According to the records unsealed Monday afternoon, a confidential informant told a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy May 20, 2012 that he had seen Jones buy meth at least twice from an associate of his. The deputy was participating in a federal drug investigation.

Curry told the deputy to pass along the information to federal authorities. An investigator for the state of Kansas was assigned to investigate Jones.

Curry told Jones that she was under investigation, including the specific meetings and observations made by the confidential information, according to the unsealed court records. When confronted by a KBI investigator on Sept. 21, Curry admitted to alerting Jones that federal authorities were scrutinizing her as part of a drug investigation, the documents state.

During that interview, Curry denied having an inappropriate relationship with Jones.

But prosecutors said Curry and Jones had "an ongoing intimate and sexual relationship" for months, according to court records. Curry's actions interfered with a law enforcement

Curry's top deputy, Jerrod Fredricks, was also arrested in the initial case. He later resigned and gave up his law enforcement license in exchange for no charges being filed.

Fredricks role in the case has not been made public.

Prosecutors are dropping the charges against Curry since he resigned his post effective Monday, and he gave up his law enforcement license.

Robin D. Fowler, an attorney for Jones, issued a statement Tuesday, saying the court documents give "a misleading and inaccurate description." Fowler said the confidential informant has been contradicted by at least two sources "whom the CI claimed would corroborate his/her version of events.

Making public the allegations "violates the fundamental principles of due process, which we normally expect in this country," Fowler said. That the confidential informant and their associate's identities have been protected while Jones' has not been "speaks volumes about the fairness of the investigation."

"Heather Jones has broken no law, and committed no crime," Fowler said. "The allegation that she purchased or used methamphetamine is false. She is not now, and never has been, the subject of any federal investigation. The state drug investigation has not only failed to corroborate the source of the allegation, but has in fact developed evidence from multiple sources which contradicts that allegation. The fact that uncharged and discredited allegations have been made public in this manner is unfair, unjust and violates the most basic principles of justice in this country."

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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