Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said Tuesday, July 17, that a settlement has been reached by all parties involved in cases against three deputies who were indicted in September on charges of misusing a law enforcement database.

Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin said Tuesday, July 17, that a settlement has been reached by all parties involved in cases against three deputies who were indicted in September on charges of misusing a law enforcement database.

Deputies Lyle Chasse, James Cuccarese II and Robert Curren were placed on unpaid administrative leave after they were indicted on charges of using the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS)for purposes other than those specified by law.

Each of the men entered pleas of not guilty to the charges in October. They were accused of conducting illegal background searches, officials said.

"There were so many moving parts to this whole thing and controversy on all sides," said Martin, who has been in his new job for just six weeks.

"Upon my appointment as sheriff, I began actively pursuing a resolution in this matter, which was pending prior to when I took office," he said. "I, along with key members of my staff, have been consulting with prosecutors and defense counsel for several weeks, and feel that this settlement is best for all involved, including the county.

"We are looking forward to moving on and putting this incident behind us."

Chief Criminal Assistant Prosecutor Bambi Couch of Richland County is handling the case as special prosecutor.

"After speaking with each defendant's legal counsel, Sheriff Martin and his advisory staff, as well as union leaders, it was decided it is in the best interest of all parties involved to settle the case outside of court," Couch said. "The deputies will be required to enter a bond forfeiture to disorderly conduct, a minor misdemeanor. We believe that this agreement will result in the finalization of the case."

Finalization is precisely what Martin was after, he said.

"This had been languishing for almost 10 months and the county had exposure to additional litigation down the road if we didn't address it now," Martin said.

As part of the settlement, the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association will withdraw all pending or threatened grievances against the Delaware County Sheriff's Office concerning any of the three men. Employment with the office has been restored for Cuccarese and Curren, while Chasse has submitted a voluntary resignation.

"I've been here for six weeks and a few days, but looking closely at this issue, I really do not think there's a systemic problem here," Martin said.

"We've already begun to discuss changes to the way we use databases," he said. "I've conferred with the county prosecutor and we're taking a global look at our protocols. Shortly, we'll have new training as well as new policies and procedures in place to prevent something like this down the road."