PUT-IN-BAY - The investigation into alleged financial wrongdoing by village officials at Put-in-Bay has been completed and sent to prosecutors for review, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
The prosecution team consists of Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten, special prosecutors from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, or BCI, and the Ohio Ethics Commissions, according to Dan Tierney, a spokesperson for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
“My understanding is that the review of the investigation is still underway,” Tierney said Tuesday.
The investigation began in June 2017 after a complaint by Put-in-Bay resident Keith Blumensaadt alleging the financial wrongdoing was forwarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
Three months into the investigation, authorities with BCI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the Ohio Ethics Commission, or OEC, executed search warrants at numerous locations in Put-in-Bay and Port Clinton.
Among the locations searched were the Put-in-Bay Police Department, the village’s government office, the Jet Express offices, the law office of former village attorney George Wilber in Port Clinton, and two properties of Todd and Alexa Blumensaadt, who own Jet Express ferry company.
Although the search warrants were sealed, the OEC has specific investigatory jurisdiction that includes alleged violations by public officials or their families or business associates in benefiting financially or receiving other compensation through the use of their public position.
The OEC also can investigate public officials or employees if they award, discuss or recommend public contracts if they, their family or business associates have financial gain.
Authorities reviewed 50,000 documents as part of the investigation, according to Tierney.
Keith Blumensaadt, who filed the several-hundred-page complaint, later last year was arrested and indicted on multiple felony charges of fleeing from police and allegedly brandishing a gun during a standoff at his Put-in-Bay home following an attempted traffic stop on June 27, 2017.
Blumensaadt is being held in the Ottawa County Detention Facility as he awaits trial for the charges and a decision regarding a motion by his defense attorneys about the admissibility of evidence they argue was obtained from an unlawful search following the alleged incident last summer.