Update: About an hour after being contacted by the Times Free Press for this story, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Human Resources Director Carole Miller emailed Cavett saying that the requested records are available for him to inspect.
One of former Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy Daniel Wilkey's alleged misconduct victims is suing the county for failing to respond to requests for records, as required by state law.
In a lawsuit filed this week, a Hamilton County man already suing Wilkey for misconduct, accuses the sheriff's department of failing to respond to multiple records requests for documents pertaining to the 26-year-old former deputy's time with the department.
The lawsuit names Hamilton County, which has been under fire recently for destruction of records and other related issues in general government, but specifically targets the actions of the department.
According to the filing and attached documents, John Cavett, an attorney representing the plaintiff, requested a list of records regarding Wilkey's conduct, including body camera footage, departmental procedures and other complaints filed against Wilkey, in a letter to the sheriff's department dated Nov. 21, 2019.
The filing claims that the office failed to respond to the original letter and failed to produce records despite that and a follow-up request submitted in late January.
Under state law, a records custodian must respond to a records request within seven business days by either fulfilling the request, providing an estimate for when the request will be fulfilled or denying the request based on a specific exemption from state law.
The complaint asks that the department be required to fulfill the request and provide compensation for the plaintiff's legal fees associated with the records lawsuit.
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office Spokesman Matt Lea declined to comment on the lawsuit Friday afternoon, adding
"As your request for comment pertains to pending litigation, we are not able to offer any comment at this time," he wrote. "Please direct any inquiries you may have to the County Attorney's Office."
County Attorney Rheubin Taylor told the Times Free Press that they are aware of the lawsuit but have not yet been served, adding that his office will respond to the lawsuit after they are served on behalf of the sheriff's department.
Cavett did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.
Wilkey, the 26-year-old former deputy in question, is the subject of a criminal investigation and several lawsuits involving traffic stops, during which he is accused of engaging in misconduct ranging from illegal drug searches and a roadside body cavity search to a forced baptism and the groping of female minors. He was indicted late last year on 44 criminal charges, including six counts of sexual battery, two counts of rape and nine counts of official oppression.
Contact Sarah Grace Taylor at 423-757-6416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @_sarahgtaylor.