Law Enforcement To Issue No Confidence Vote For Fairfield Co. Prosecutor

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Fairfield County law enforcement leaders are planning to speak out against current county prosecutor Gregg Marx.

Several police chiefs and the Fairfield County Sheriff are calling together a press conference Friday to express their lack of confidence in Marx.

They will formally support Kyle Witt as the county's new Prosecutor. Witt is the assistant law director and a prosecutor within the city of Lancaster.

In December, 10TV spoke with Pickerington Police Chief Michael Taylor, who said he had “zero” confidence in Marx.

Taylor wasn’t the only one complaining. In June 2011, nine law enforcement officials representing seven different Fairfield County police agencies sent Marx a letter, outlining concerns with the prosecutor’s office.

It lists eight suggestions to improve the way Marx's office "functions with local law enforcement."

Police Agencies Air Frustrations With Fairfield County Prosecutor

10TV also reported on allegations from Marx’s current and past employees of a toxic environment, sexual harassment, bullying and abuse.

"I think there needs to be change," said Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen.

Abuse, Sexual Harassment Alleged in Fairfield Co. Prosecutor’s Office

Fairfield County's Sheriff Dave Phalen says he weighed the decision heavily, but alerting the public to what he calls misdeeds by current prosecutor Gregg Marx has become too important for the justice in his county. He also expressed concern for a recent terse conversation between a Fairfield County commander and Marx.

"It's been a difficult decision and a powerful position to take and I know there has been some conversation between Mr. Marx and the commander of our major crimes unit that has not been pleasant."

10TV asked Marx about the conversation, perceived by Sheriff Phalen’s account to be threatening, in which he told the commander he was "number two" on Marx's list. Marx said the Lancaster Police chief was "number one." Marx explained what he meant:

"Of the people that lied to me the worst," Marx responded. "I met with... I'm not talking about hurting anyone. They have guns. I don't have guns."

"I do not expect to receive the endorsement of Sheriff Phalen or several chiefs," said Marx, who went on to cite several reasons, including political motivations.

Marx said he believes regardless of the law enforcement endorsements, he will win the election because he says he has lived in the county since 1983, much longer than his opponent. He also said he does not believe Witt has the necessary experience prosecuting felony charges to become Fairfield County Prosecutor.

Sheriff Phalen also expressed concern for the high turnover in Marx's office. About 2 dozen employees have left during the time Marx has been in office. "Many of them have stories of being mistreated by Mr. Marx," said Phalen.

"All of those allegations of harassments were reviewed by the office of human relations who determined, even if true, they did not merit further referral to another agency," said Marx.

Click here to read Marx’s 5-point plan following claims of harassment in his office

Fairfield County voters will cast their vote between Witt and Marx in the March 15 Primary Election.

Phalen will stand with the Lancaster Police Chief, Baltimore Police Chief, the Pickerington Police Chief and others as they unveil statistics and examples for their lack of confidence in Marx on Friday.

The press conference will be held Friday afternoon at the Pickerington Senior Center. 10TV News will carry the developments.

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