Ohio Auditor’s Office executes search warrant at Montgomery County Clerk of Courts

The Ohio Auditor’s Office served a search warrant Wednesday afternoon at the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts office as part of an investigation.

Details surrounding the investigation are unclear; however, the state’s auditor’s office confirmed the investigation involved Clerk of Courts Mike Foley’s office.

“The auditor of state’s special investigation unit received information concerning the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts office and opened an investigation into the matter, including the execution of today’s search warrant,” said Ohio Auditor of State spokesman Marc Kovak. “We will have no further comment at this time on this continuing investigation.”

Foley has not returned messages seeking comment.

Montgomery County Clerk of Courts Administrator Herbert Davis confirmed that state auditor’s office staff were on site Wednesday. Another office staffer said the group had left around 1:30 p.m.

When pressed for comment, Davis said, “Please contact our attorney, Jon Paul Rion.”

Rion is representing Foley and said Wednesday evening that no accusations have been made and investigators are only collecting information.

“We’ve tried to speak with the investigator and with the counsel and right now they said there is no accusation,” Rion said. “It’s simply a request for some documents for review and as this proceeds and information is available, once it’s reviewed then an analysis will be made at that time.”

He said his client has nothing to hide and will comply fully.

“I don’t think there are any conclusions at this point as to whether or not there are any issues that should raise any great public concern,” he said.

When asked, Rion wouldn’t say what type of documents were collected by investigators. He said it is unclear if the investigation’s focus is on an individual or entity.

“It’s a request for documents based on probably the assertions of a disgruntled employee,” he said.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck said he was not aware of the investigation and his office has not been contacted about a search warrant.

When asked about Rion’s role — because the prosecutor’s office represents all county offices – Heck said: “By statute, we are the attorney for the clerk’s office in their official capacity. However, if there’s a crime that’s been committed or a criminal matter, we would not represent them. We have no idea what Mr. Rion’s role is with the clerk of courts.”

Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies were present while auditor’s office staff were on site.

“Sheriff’s Office deputies were present with the state auditor as they conducted an investigation,” read a statement from the sheriff’s office. “MCSO only provided security since it is a county building.”

The Montgomery County Clerk of Courts serves the Common Pleas Court, General Division; Domestic Relations Court; county municipal courts; and the Second District Court of Appeals. Its Auto Title Division offers services including titling of motor vehicles and processing passport applications.