After no confidence vote, Butler Co prosecutor restricts sheriff's staff from his office

After no confidence vote, Butler Co prosecutor restricts sheriff's staff from his office
Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser (FOX19 NOW/file)
Butler County Deputy Sheriff Jason Hatfield (FOX19 NOW/file)
Butler County Deputy Sheriff Jason Hatfield (FOX19 NOW/file)
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones (FOX19 NOW/file)
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones (FOX19 NOW/file)

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - A dispute between Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser and a Butler County deputy he called "rogue" accelerated this week.

The union that represents the deputies took a no confidence vote in the prosecutor Wednesday.

The next day, Gmoser restricted sheriff staff members' access to his office.

"It was brought to my attention today that an unknown number of members of your staff have key cards for access to my office located both on the 11th and 10th floor of the Government Services Building," Gmoser wrote in a letter to Sheriff Richard Jones obtained by FOX19 NOW through a public records request.

"Please be advised, and advise your staff accordingly, that no personnel from your office is permitted to gain entry into my offices at any time without prior consent from my office, unless there is a bonafide police emergency."

Jones forwarded Gmoser's letter to his employees.

"I expect all staff to adhere to his request," the sheriff wrote. "Your cooperation is expected and appreciated."

Then, Jones' executive secretary forwarded the sheriff's email to Gmoser's secretary.

"Several employees of the Prosecutor's Office have issued access cards to our facility," wrote Pamela Stroup. "The Sheriff stated that they are welcome to continue to use them."

Gmoser did not return calls for comment Friday.

The union leader did not respond to a request for comment.

Jones declined comment.

The sheriff's office has declined requests for FOX19 NOW to interview Hatfield due to ongoing litigation.

The development comes after the prosecutor was recently accused in a court record of having a "personal vendetta" against Deputy Jason Hatfield and suggesting a man "shoot to kill" the next time he saw Hatfield.

Gmoser, who denied the allegations, alleged in a 2015 letter to Jones an informed source told him Hatfield regularly overcharged suspects to get more court overtime because of expensive child support payments.

The prosecutor then described Hatfield as a "rogue deputy" and called for the sheriff to investigate.

Hatfield sued Gmoser in May 2016, claiming the prosecutor's letter about him contained "knowingly bogus and unfounded charges."

"Gmoser knew or should have known the charges to be false, based on information he possessed," the lawsuit reads.

Hatfield's complaint states he was removed from the sheriff's patrol into jail transport, indicating the move was a demotion.

The deputy was taken off jail transport and returned to patrol when he filed the lawsuit, according to his complaint.

Hatfield "was exonerated" by the sheriff's office's internal investigation into the allegations Gmoser made in the letter, his lawsuit reads.

The deputy also contends the Gmoser letter has prevented him from being able to be hired at other police departments.

Gmoser has asked a federal judge to dismiss Hatfield's suit against him.

Hatfield remains on road patrol for the sheriff's office.

He has been embroiled in other lawsuits but did receive an award for saving a motorist's life at the scene of a head-on crash in Fairfield Township in December 2014, records show.

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