BCI Investigating Delaware County Sheriff's Spending
Ohio's Bureau of Criminal Investigation is looking into whether county money may have helped pay for a rendezvous between Delaware County Sheriff Walter Davis and a subordinate deputy.
10 Investigates' Paul Aker uncovered information on Tuesday that Davis used the money to go to an out-of-state hotel where Deputy Janine Senanayake was staying.
Senanayake, previously known as Janine England, resigned in 2009 as a police officer in Perry Township in Stark County after a video surfaced. The video showed her in a patrol car with the police chief. A patrol car camera captured the intimate scene as the two were taking a prisoner to jail.
Despite the incident, Senanayake was hired by the Delaware County Sheriff's Office in October 2010. Since then, sources told 10 Investigates that she has spent nights out with Davis.
10 Investigates turned up a photo of the pair sitting together at a co-worker's wedding reception last fall.
More recently, 10 Investigates found Davis' personal car parked outside a Westerville condominium. A license plate check showed that Senanayake's car was parked around the corner.
A source who has been watching the area said that the pair spent weekends together in the unit that neither own. The same source took video that repeatedly showed the cars outside the condo at the same time. It also showed Senanayake coming out.
On a different day, a man who matched Davis' body type and height came out of the same complex under the cover of darkness and got into a car that matched the sheriff's.
On Tuesday, Davis walked away from questions about the relationship.
10 Investigates showed the video to union representative Mark Drum, who has recently criticized Davis for other behavior.
"I think it's pretty obvious it appears they have a relationship," Drum said. "Certainly, I think it is reprehensible for an elected official to carry on the conduct that he holds his people to a higher standard."
Delaware County's own human resources policy states that "supervisors are expressly prohibited from engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with any employee they directly or indirectly supervise."
The apparent relationship also appears to have had at least some cost to taxpayers. 10 Investigates pulled the receipts for a series of trips that Davis took last summer. At least one included costs for an apparent rendezvous with Senanayake at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va., Aker reported.
In August, Davis attended an FBI academy about 30 miles away in Quantico, Va.
According to Davis' office, the academy paid "all training costs, including travel and meals." Still, county documents showed that Davis spent $132 to rent a car, along with $10 in gas, $54 to park at the hotel and $49 to dine at the nearby Extra Virgin Italian Restaurant.
He then picked up a breakfast buffet tab for two for $37.
Davis claimed that he only paid for his meal.
At one point, Davis told Aker that he could not remember who he was with but said that whomever he was with was "personal." A hotel receipt exclusively obtained by 10 Investigates showed that Senanayake was at the Crystal Gateway Marriott from August 12-14, matching a parking receipt that showed Davis was at the same hotel for the same two-day stretch.
Drum said that 10 Investigates' findings were so provocative that Davis' political party should push for his removal.
"The party needs to look into this conduct," Drum said. "This is conduct. If true, an elected official should not be able to undertake."
A Delaware County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman told 10 Investigates that Davis did nothing illegal.
Senanayake hung up on Aker when attempting to contact her.
Last week, 10 Investigates reported that four Delaware County Sheriff's Office employees filed civil rights complaints against Davis.
Two jail employees claimed they were fired because they were in a same-sex relationship.
In another filing, a female detective complained of sexist comments in the office. She claimed Davis said, "female employees' jobs were not to talk, but stand and look pretty."
A deputy claimed that Davis threatened to fire him after he complained that a co-worker was involved in racial profiling.
Davis denied the allegations.
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