TIPP CITY — A Tipp City Police Department sergeant has been placed on paid administrative leave for his alleged involvement in disseminating information from a Piqua Police investigation involving Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak’s wife Sheri Duchak’s OVI arrest in August 2018.
According to a public records request by the Miami Valley Today, Sgt. Marc Basye was placed on paid administration leave Thursday, Jan. 30.
Basye was notified by Chief Eric Burris of the action on Thursday afternoon.
“Following an initial review of materials provided by Ohio BCI regarding your alleged involvement in disseminating protected information from a Piqua P.D. investigation, I believe there is sufficient evidence to support a thorough administrative investigation into the matter,” Burris states in the letter.
The letter also states Basye will remain on paid leave until the “inquiry is complete and it’s decided whether there will be any disciplinary action taken against you.”
The letter also states Basye is to not have any contact with any other Tipp City Police Department employees during the leave. He also turned over his badges, keys and duty weapon until the conclusion of the process, and he is not to access any restricted areas of the department unless he or Deputy Chief Greg Adkins orders him to report.
According to an Ohio Attorney General Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) report, Basye was found to have taken a picture of Sheri Duchak’s traffic stop by the Piqua Police Department on Aug. 8, 2018. Basye accessed the information on Aug. 10, 2018, and sent the picture to Paul Reece, a Republican candidate for Miami County Sheriff running against incumbent Sheriff Dave Duchak. At the time Basye accessed records, Sheri Duchak had not been formally charged in the case. She was later charged on Aug. 28. A Facebook post with the information appeared on “Local Government Fact Check” (LGFC) to which investigators found Reece, Robert Peters, a known friend of Reece, and former Miami County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Doug Byers, had administrative access.
Basye’s attorney Jeffrey Slyman responded on Basye’s behalf on Friday afternoon.
“Tim Sell, a very competent, professional and experienced prosecutor and trial attorney presented the allegations against Sergeant Basye to a grand jury. The grand jury rejected any criminal charges. That speaks volumes. Although Sergeant Basye is very disappointed that this measure has belatedly been taken by the Chief, he will continue to cooperate as he has done in the past and is confident that as with the grand jury, a fair and impartial tribunal will determine his conduct undeserving of any further disciplinary action. He also wishes to dispel any rumors that his action is promulgated by vindictiveness propitiated by the failure to obtain criminal charges.”
Reece answered his phone in response to his involvement of the BCI investigation on Friday.
“I can appreciate what they are trying to do up there, but Marc Basye has been my friend for 26 years, he’s a decorated cop, he’s well respected. It’s a shame what they are trying to do to him, and I’m just going to leave it at that,” Reece said.
When asked about his ties with the Facebook page on which the screen shot appeared, Reece said, “You know what, here’s how we are going to do this. We are going to let Marc’s attorneys handle it because you are clearly being fed a lot of bad information and it’s political.”
Reece then said, “When it’s all this is over with, I’m sure there’s going to be a flurry of civil litigation out of it.”
Basye has been a police officer with Tipp City since 2001. Basye was promoted to the rank of sergeant in March 2012. As of April 2019, Basye earned $40.39 an hour.
According to a public records request, Ohio BCI Investigator Special Agent Tiffany Najmulski presented the office’s investigation report to Miami County Prosecutor Tony Kendell on Oct. 15, 2019. On Friday, Kendell said when his office received the investigation, he sent it to special prosecutor Shelby County Prosecutor Tim Sell. Sell presented the information during a grand jury session on Jan. 23, 2020. The grand jury failed to indict Basye on unauthorized use of law enforcement automated database system, a felony of the fifth-degree.
On Friday, Sheriff Duchak said, “I read a synopsis of the investigation report when it was released. It’s sad for the law enforcement community that an officer would initiate a confidential document for political and personal gain.”