FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. - After more than a month of silence, the circumstances leading to the arrest of Franklin County Sheriff Jeffry Curry have been revealed.
Curry allegedly warned a county worker -- with whom he had a sexual relationship -- that she was the subject of a federal drug investigation, according to a civil lawsuit filed by the state of Kansas. He was charged with official misconduct and interference with law enforcement operations in February.
One of his deputies, Jerrod Fredricks, also faced one count of interference with law enforcement operations.
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The lawsuit states a confidential informant told another Franklin County deputy in May that he had seen the county worker purchasing methamphetamine on at least two separate occasions. When Curry found out, he allegedly told the deputy to notify federal authorities -- then secretly warned the employee she was a suspect.
We're choosing not to identify the county worker because no charges have been filed against her.
The Kansas Bureau of Investigation was sent to look into the meth allegations. In the course of the investigation, an agent learned Curry had told the employee she was a suspect, according to the lawsuit.
When the agent confronted the sheriff in September, Curry admitted he warned the worker she was being targeted, but denied ever having an inappropriate or sexual relationship with her.
In the lawsuit, the state of Kansas maintains Curry and the employee were involved in an ongoing, intimate relationship.
A judge unsealed the civil suit Monday during a preliminary hearing for Curry and Fredricks.
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Prosecutors plan to drop the case against both defendants as part of a pre-trial diversion. The deal requires Curry and Fredricks to forfeit law enforcement certification and to never again seek a Kansas law enforcement job.
Curry's official resignation as sheriff went into effect Monday.
In a news release, his attorney said an investigation found the county worker was "either knowingly or recklessly slandered" by the confidential informant.
"By accepting diversion and resigning his office, my client has tried to end this matter as quickly as possible. In one year, the charges should be dismissed just as if they were dismissed today," Curry's attorney, N. Trey Pettlon, said in a statement Monday.
"Sheriff Curry has devoted his life to law enforcement. He has made mistakes in his personal life that he regrets but it never affected his ability or his desire to be the best Sheriff he could be," Pettlon added. "Today, Franklin County lost a good sheriff."
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