Clark County 911 coordinator resigns after internal investigation

Clark County’s 911 coordinator has resigned following an internal affairs investigation that concluded he had violated multiple Clark County Sheriff’s Office policies.

Mike Combs, the 911 coordinator, will remain on the payroll of the Clark County Sheriff’s Office on administrative leave until April 1, according to his resignation letter. Combs will also be paid for 480 vacation hours in a lump sum on April 10.

The resignation letter, dated Jan. 3, 2020, was signed by Combs and Clark County Sheriff Deborah Burchett.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Burchett for comment on the resignation and was told by Clark County Human Resources and Finances Manager Ben Hunt that the department does not comment on personnel matters.

Clark County Dispatch Supervisor Nicole Elliot and Clark County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Chris Clark are handling, “various responsibilities that belonged to Mike Combs,” Hunt said.

Read the first report: Clark County 911 coordinator placed on administrative leave

Combs was placed on paid administrative leave on Nov. 6, according to sheriff’s department documents obtained by the Springfield News-Sun.

The internal investigation was launched on Oct. 15 after three members of the sheriff’s office filed formal complaints on Oct. 10 saying Combs had made derogatory statements about them, according to sheriff’s office documents.

In one of the complaints, one of the three staff members, Detective Scott Cultice said on Oct. 9 he and Combs were in a car together going to Columbus to pick up some computer equipment when the two began talking about the new Clark County dispatch center, the complaint said.

“I asked what the issues were in the process. He stated that he was the only one that really pushed for the (dispatch center) to move forward,” Cultice’s complaint said.

The detective said Combs then began, “bad-mouthing,” Elliot and Clark, the complaint said.

“I know his demeanor was very negative about Nicole and Major as well as the administration. I then changed the subject because it was to the point I had heard enough because I do not agree with his outlook on those two,” the detective’s complaint said.

Once Cultice returned to the office later that day, he pulled Elliot and Clark aside and told them about Combs’ remarks. The three then decided to file complaints about the incident.

As a result of the complaints, an internal investigation was launched that lasted nearly three months — with 15 Sheriff’s department staff being interviewed, including Burchett and Combs. In the closing statement of the investigation, Combs was found to have violated multiple policies, including sexual harassment and bullying, in numerous different incidents spanning several years.

Combs denied all allegations made against him during the investigation, according to sheriff’s documents. The Springfield News-Sun reached out to Combs’ lawyer, Nathan Stuckey, for comment about the investigation but he was unavailable for comment Thursday.

Prior to the investigation, Combs had never been the subject of a serious investigation at the sheriff’s office in his 20 years there, according to his personnel file.

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