Licking County Sheriff’s Office Captain Resigns Amid Harassment Allegations

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UPDATED: Friday January 10, 2014 11:06 AM

A veteran law enforcer has resigned amid allegations of years of sexual harassment.

Patrick Claprood had a 26 year career with the Licking County Sheriff's Office.

He had risen to the rank of Captain before being accused of harassment by a female deputy.

In a 2009 self-evaluation, then-Captain Patrick Claprood gave himself a four out of five for Professional Ethics, writing, "I am committed to the Sheriff's Office and am a good representative of the Office".

But the accusations against him are anything but professional.

In a letter to Licking County Sheriff Randy Thorp, a 15 year employee of the Sheriff's Office accuses Claprood of "unwanted and unwarranted sexual advances, derogatory remarks, lewd comments, and sexual contact."

She says it began five years ago while both were attending a conference.

"I was seated at a table (next to) Claprood...(he) ran his hand up my left thigh under my skirt...I was shocked, and immediately grabbed his hand to prevent him from going any higher."

She says he "repeatedly requested that I wear a skirt or dress to these conferences."

She says other times, he touched her backside and "groped (her) breast."

"He made suggestions as to what sex with him would be like, and was descriptive about what he would like to do to me."

She says once, he even "began to undress in front of (her)".

Because of these issues, she says four years ago, she requested to be removed from his unit.

She claims he told her she would be seen "as a quitter" and "would not be promoted within the department."

She says "I agreed to remain on the unit."

She says she made the decision to report Claprood because "the situation has become unbearable for me."

The Sheriff met with Claprood the same day he received the letter.

While Claprood "denied several of the allegations", Sheriff’s Office documents say he admitted the conversations "did or at least could have occurred. He felt the conversations were done in a 'joking manner'."

"Obviously if any part of the letter were true, at that point in time, it was made clear to Captain Claprood that he could no longer continue in his current role here at the Sheriff's Office," said Licking County Colonel Chad Dennis.

At that point, Claprood chose to resign.
    
The Sheriff's Office says prior to these allegations, Claprood had a respectable career, with no other accusations of wrongdoing.

Neither Claprood nor his accuser returned our calls for comment.

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