2 Montgomery Co. deputies fired over racial texts

Two deputies fired in Montgomery County. (WDTN Photo)
Two deputies fired in Montgomery County. (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Sheriff fired two top deputies Friday ending the investigation into racially charged remarks made in text messages.

Captain Tom Flanders and Detective Michael Sollenberger were terminated.  Flanders’ attorney says his client will appeal.

The sheriff says three other deputies will be suspended for different periods of time.  He said those three admitted their mistakes and that is why the sheriff says they still work with the department.

Both Flanders and Sollenberger were charged with unethical conduct and insubordination.  Flanders made 29 inappropriate conversations.  Sollenberger made 33 inappropriate conversations.

UPDATE: 2NEWS has copies of the investigation report and they do contain racially charged and offensive language:

Deputy Joseph Connelly was suspended 30 days without pay for unethical conduct.  The sheriff says he made six inappropriate conversations.

Deputy Jamie Horton was suspended 10 days for unethical conduct.  He had five inappropriate conversations.

Sergeant Brian Lewis was suspended for three days for unethical conduct.  The sheriff says he had one inappropriate conversation.

Sheriff Plummer said early on in the investigation: “This isn’t an organizational problem, this is five individuals that made a bad choice and they will be held accountable to the fullest extent that I’m allowed to.”

The sheriff announced several changes within the department to combat racism including new training.

“I don’t want the community to think this is a reflection of the entire department,” said Sheriff Plummer.  He said most of his employees are hard working and “a couple of bad apples” shouldn’t reflect on the entire department.

The Dayton chapter of the NAACP made the sheriff aware of the situation after a citizen approached them about the texts in August 2014.



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