MIDDLEPORT — The Meigs County probation and corrections officer arrested on Wednesday on a charge of sexual battery has been placed on administrative leave by the offices in which he works.
Larry D. Tucker, of Pomeroy, was placed on unpaid administrative leave from his part-time position with the Middleport Jail where he is a corrections officer. Tucker is also on administrative leave from his job as a probation officer and bailiff with Meigs County Common Pleas Court.
A statement from the village of Middleport prepared by Village Solicitor Richard H. Hedges reads,
On November 15, 2017, Chief Bruce Swift and Assistant Chief/Jail Administrator Mony Wood informed Mr. Larry Tucker that he was being placed on unpaid administrative leave from his part time position with the Middleport Jail. Mr. Tucker was criminally charged on Nov. 15, 2017, by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Consequently, Mr. Tucker’s employment status was suspended pursuant to Village policy. His future employment status will be reviewed and determined by Mayor Sandy Iannarelli in the next five business days. Mr. Tucker has been directed not to be on any Village office property or have any contact with anyone associated with the Middleport Jail or Village government.
In addition to his position with the county and village of Middleport, Tucker is also the Meigs Local Board of Education president.
Meigs Local Supt. Scot Gheen released the following statement regarding the matter on Thursday evening.
We are aware of the arrest of our school board president and share the public’s concerns about these charges. It is critical to understand that the allegations being made do not involve our district, students or staff in any manner.
Our district does not have the same kind of legal or disciplinary authority over elected school board members as we do for staff members. We have, as a precautionary measure, respectfully asked this board member to remain off school property for the duration of the legal case or until further notice.
This is a situation we are taking very seriously, and we will work closely with the rest of our school board and law enforcement as it progresses.
Tucker is currently released on a recognizance bond after making an initial appearance in Meigs County Court on Wednesday.
The allegation against Tucker is alleged to have occurred while he was performing his job duties with the village of Middleport.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, sexual battery is defined as engaging in sexual conduct with another, not the spouse of the offender when the offender is in a person of authority, when the victim is in the custody of law or a patient in a hospital and the offender has supervisory or disciplinary authority over the other person, among other situations.
The charge is a felony of the third-degree. According to court records, the offense is alleged to have occurred on Nov. 1, 2017.
A hearing in County Court is scheduled for Monday at 10:30 a.m. Tucker was represented by attorney Charles Knight at the initial appearance.