Outside judge assigned to OVI case of Miami County sheriff’s wife

An outside judge is now assigned to hear the case of the Miami County sheriff’s wife, who is accused of drunken driving.

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Sheri Duchak, 52, the wife of Sheriff Dave Duchak, pleaded not guilty earlier this month to charges of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content greater than .236 that were filed in Miami County Municipal Court stemming from her Aug. 8 arrest in Piqua.

Retired Kettering Municipal Court Judge Thomas Hanna has been assigned to the case, and a motion also has been filed to have a special prosecutor appointed.

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According to a Piqua Police Department report, police at Pisenbarger Park saw a woman, later identified as Duchak, drive across the center line of South Street and strike a curb, then drive across a sidewalk, through the grass and over the parking lot curb. Her vehicle also hit a grass island barrier with a concrete curb before pulling up to a cruiser parked in the parking lot. The officer reported Duchak appeared confused with bloodshot and glassy eyes.

During the incident, Duchak told the officer that her husband is the Miami County sheriff and repeatedly told the officer to call “Bruce,” referring to Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison, and said they would lose their jobs, the report stated.

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In an audio recording of the conversation, obtained by this news organization through a records request, Duchak told officers, “the two of you are in peril.”

On Aug. 23, Piqua police reported they received the results of Duchak’s urine test, which showed her blood-alcohol content was .360. This is more than four times Ohio’s legal driving limit of .08.

Jamison and Sheriff Dave Duchak both praised the department’s professionalism in handling Sheri Duchak’s arrest.

According to court records, attorney Jack Hemm is representing Duchak.

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