Ottawa County Sheriffs Office

2006 Community Recognition Night


Deputy Amy Harrell

Deputy Amy Harrell was assigned an investigation that had originated in our County Engineer’s Office.  Deputy Engineer Ron Lajti had discovered some billing concerns from a local paving company and through his research found that there were some irregularities in the company’s billing.  This information was presented to the Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Amy Harrell and Deputy Engineer Ron Lajti started an investigation of a massive amount of records.

Over an extended period of time – months – two search warrants were executed on the property of the paving company.  It was found that there had been a double billing process in four counties and a large number of townships and other municipalities.  It is alleged that taxpayers’ funds were taken in all of these jurisdictions.

The results of the investigation were presented to the Ottawa County Prosecutor for his review, and it was then presented to an Ottawa County grand jury.  To date there has been a 42-count indictment handed down as a result of this investigation.

Deputy Amy Harrell worked long and hard with Deputy Engineer Ron Lajti in putting this case together.  Deputy Amy Harrell is hereby recognized for the outstanding job she did in the criminal investigation of this case.  It is currently an open case in the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.



Deputy Gary Karr, Reserve Deputy Gary Shessler and Deputy James Karr

These three deputies have spent hundreds of hours in training the entire Sheriff’s Office and its Reserves in firearms.  In today’s law enforcement there is no training as intensive as the firearms training which is mandatory for all law enforcement officers through their respective agencies.  These three individuals have devoted countless hours to creating special programs to ensure that the personnel of the Sheriff’s Office are at the highest possible level in the utilization of not only their handguns but also shotguns that are available to the members of this agency.

Shooting takes place at least twice a year, if not more.  It is usually conducted at the Camp Perry military complex.  It is the Administration’s honor to recognize these three deputies for overseeing this vital program and everything they have done over the years to assist in achieving the high goals that have been set in this regard.

Captain Levorchick Presents Award to Deputy James Karr

Attorney General Marc Dann, Sheriff Bratton, Chief Deputy Riedmaier, Captain Levorchick

Lieutenant Lochotzki, Deputy James Karr, Deputy Gary Karr, Judge Giesler and Reserve Deputy Shessler


Ottawa County Sheriffs Office Underwater Response Team Preparing to

Recognize Sergeant Jeff Hickman for Many Years of Service as Dive Team Commander.


Judge Giesler Presenting Lifesaving Award to Deputy Kevin Meek and Deputy Gale Zelms

In 2007 following careful review by the Community Recognition Committee, it was felt that these two individuals needed to be recognized tonight rather than wait until next year’s banquet.  They performed lifesaving measures.

On March 13, 2007, the Communications Center of the Sheriff’s Office received a call advising that there was an unconscious individual in Bay Township.  The call was put out to EMS personnel and also to Deputy Kevin Meek and Deputy Gale Zelms who had been working together that particular day.  They were within minutes of the location for this call.

Upon their arrival they immediately started cardiopulmonary resuscitation – CPR.  These two deputies continued their efforts until support personnel from Fire/EMS arrived on the scene.  The victim was transported to Magruder Hospital and then later transported by Life Flight to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo.

There is no question that the efforts of these two deputies saved the victim so that emergency treatment could be provided.  The lifesaving efforts of these dedicated professionals of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office are recognized.

We would like to note that Deputy Gale Zelms is a certified CPR instructor and has and will instruct personnel in the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

This is Deputy Kevin Meek’s second lifesaving award since being assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.


Judge Giesler Reads Special Recognition Award to Detective Joe Vidal

Detective Joe Vidal was contacted by an out-of-state law enforcement agency regarding a child pornography investigation.  Information was forwarded to Detective Vidal for the purpose of follow-up criminal investigation within our county.  A local physician was the target of the criminal investigation.

Working with the assistance of various personnel, Detective Vidal carried the brunt of all the hours during a three-month investigation.  The point was reached where a search warrant was executed at a business and a residence.

In securing the search warrant, evidence was gathered to support the allegations of the out-of-state law enforcement agency.  Many interviews were conducted and structuring of the criminal case for our Prosecutor’s Office.  Detective Vidal worked very hard to secure any and all evidence in this investigation.

To date there has been a plea entered.  The individual has pled to a felony-2, a felony-3, and a felony-4 in the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court.  There is a 14-1/2 year sentence that could be imposed by the judge as a result of this plea.  The case is set for sentencing in the near future.

 The Administration of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office wishes to extend our appreciation for an outstanding job by recognizing Detective Vidal here tonight for his professional performance in pursuit of the criminal element.



Attorney General Dann, Sheriff Bratton and Detective Vidal


Sheriff Bratton Presents Attorney General Marc Dann a Plaque for being our Guest Speaker.


Attorney General Marc Dann


Communications Division

(Left to Right) Deputy Jennifer Mansor, Deputy Amanda Grimm, Deputy Wendy Ritterbach, Deputy Heather Dornbusch,

Deputy Heather Diebel, Sergeant James Lucas, Deputy Deb Alexander, Deputy Craig Jackson, Deputy Anya Alvarez and Deputy John Knecht


Deputy Hammer, Captain Levorchick and Explorer Post 6262



Life Flight has been a sponsor of every banquet.  Life Flight is a partner in aiding victims in Ottawa County.  The working relationship is excellent, as is the service they provide to those in need of medical attention.  We could not find a finer organization.  Tonight we want to take a moment to present to the representatives here tonight a small token of our appreciation.



First Energy has also been a partner in sponsoring our Community Recognition Nights.  We work closely with the nuclear security force at First Energy.  There are meetings, training, and analysis of how situations could arise.  There is a continuing effort to renew and improve these operations.  Again we could not have this night without the assistance of our friends at First Energy.


OurGuest Logo

Our Guest Inn and Suites located in Port Clinton provides accommodations not only for out-of-town guests on our Community Recognition Night but also for other special events.  You have always been willing to extend whatever services you can to provide a comfortable stay for our guests.  We thank you and recognize you for your spirit of cooperation and your commitment to working with our community.


Mr. Don Finnegan, Jr., of TSL Ltd., has been a true friend of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.  Throughout the years he has rendered assistance and sponsored many different programs.  He has been a contributor to the recognition dinners.  He has a history of supporting law enforcement.  During his term as a Sylvania Township trustee he was instrumental in the reorganization and expansion of the Sylvania Township Police Department and purchasing new equipment.  He worked very hard in the economic development of Sylvania Township.  We would like to thank Don for his assistance to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office and show our gratitude for his support.


Spengler Nathanson P.L.L.


The Spengler Nathanson law firm in Toledo represents Ottawa County in many different ways.   They have represented the County in several lawsuits.  They have been good friends and continuing sponsors of our Community Recognition Nights.


beryllium, copper, alloy, rod, tube, Brush Wellman

Brush Wellman has been an ongoing sponsor of our Community Recognition Nights.  They, too, are instrumental in helping with various programs throughout the County when called upon.  They have assisted us in various public service programs on a continuing basis.  We appreciate their commitment to not only the County but also to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. 


The management of Genoa Banking has made a firm commitment to participating financially in this special night for our deputies and guests.  Throughout the years Genoa Banking has been a supporter and assisted in covering the costs.  The Administration of the Sheriff’s Office is certainly appreciative, and we wish to take time tonight to recognize Genoa Banking for their commitment to this awards program and dinner. 





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Posted March 30, 2007