Ex-deputy disciplined many times

SANDUSKY A retired deputy accused of sexual misconduct was disciplined numerous times while working
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

A retired deputy accused of sexual misconduct was disciplined numerous times while working at the Erie County Sheriff's office, but none of the incidents documented in his personnel file were sexual in nature.

Retired Deputy Don Casper, 61, was charged Friday with misdemeanor gross sexual imposition. On Aug. 2, he received four restraining orders from four female relatives, who all said they were assaulted, either sexually or physically, by Casper.

A look into the retired deputy's personnel file revealed an extensive history of improper behavior. Most of his misconduct occurred prior to 2001, when current Sheriff Terry Lyons took office.

"With our collective bargaining agreement with progressive discipline," Lyons said, "action that's over 18 months can't be used with any future discipline unless there's something pending."

"It's difficult to discipline somebody for something in 2001, let alone 1990."

Casper worked for the Put-in-Bay Police Department for two years prior to joining the Erie County Sheriff's Department in 1980 at the age of 34.

At that time John Magnuson was the sheriff-elect.

On Aug. 8, 1986, Casper received a written warning for misusing Sheriff's office property.

On Jan. 4, 1989, he received a written warning for falsifying report information.

On Feb. 20, 1990, he received a written reprimand for having a private citizen known as "Bubba" riding with him while he was responding to an alarm activation.

Beginning in January 1990, Casper's personal life began to interfere with his work.

Between January and March of that year, he told a female acquaintance not to report a crime. The woman told Casper she was the victim of a breaking and entering, and Casper threatened to kill the suspected perpetrators, according to reports.

On April 14, Casper received two written letters of reprimand: one for deliberately falsifying related reports or information and one for insubordination.

On April 18, 1990, A deputy wrote a report stating Casper threatened him for a previous report the deputy had written that led to Casper being disciplined.

"He said I would regret ever causing him to get written up," the deputy wrote.

Casper received a letter of reprimand for that threat on April 19, 1990.

He was later suspended without pay for 20 work days, placed on probation for one year and ordered to receive psychological counseling concerning his "domestic situation."

He was allowed to return to work May 16, 1990, but his troubles didn't stop then.

On April 18, 1993, Casper fought with two men at the Showboat lounge in Huron.

The men attacked Casper because he and a woman were arguing, and when she tried to walk away he grabbed her by her hair and drew back his arm as if he was going to punch her, according to reports.

Casper was charged with disorderly conduct on May 4, 1993, for the incident.

On April 30, 1994, an Erie County resident saw Casper, who was on duty and driving an Erie County cruiser, shopping for lawnmowers at the TSC store on U.S. 250.

He also falsified his daily activity report for that day, in effect saying he was somewhere he wasn't.

Casper later admitted to and apologized for the incident, and his cruiser privileges were reduced for 30 days in addition to receiving a written warning from then-Sheriff John E. Magnuson.

On Feb. 13, 1998, Casper, who was then assigned to the highway department, misled an Erie County Family Court magistrate into believing he was the father of a child whom Casper was trying to get out of a speeding ticket.

For that, he was suspended without pay for three days, was reassigned and issued a final letter of warning.

"Any future violations or misconduct will lead to your dismissal," Magnuson wrote in a letter to Casper." "It comes as no surprise to me that you acted in the manner that you did."

But all this took place before current sheriff Terry Lyons took office.

In a Wednesday night interview, Lyons said he was unaware of Casper's disciplinary history.

But on Aug. 13, 2001, Casper offended an African-American deputy, making the comment to him, "I'll kiss your big lips."

Casper received a written reprimand and was ordered to attend cultural diversity training.

On April 22, 2004, Casper visited with former deputy David Collins at Collins' home while Casper was on duty.

Collins had been indicted on felony charges of gross sexual imposition for sexually assaulting a woman in 2003, and Lyons said Casper's visit was "inappropriate."

On April 26, 2004, a woman told Captain Paul Sigsworth that Casper abruptly pulled in front of her vehicle on U.S. 250 and "slammed on the brakes."

The woman was driving with children at the time. She said Casper then made an abrupt U-turn and drove away in the opposite direction.

The woman said she was involved in a financial dispute with Casper's stepdaughter, and that the driving incident "could have been intentional."

Casper told Sigsworth he was "pacing" a speeding van when the incident occurred, and Sigsworth determined the incident was a case of "he said, she said."

On Feb. 4, 2005, Casper received written warning for being at Asher Brothers in Huron while he was on duty. Casper once again lied about where he was on his daily activity report.

He retired from the sheriff's office later that year.

Casper also received a few letters of commendation over the years for working a year without calling in sick and heroic behavior in the line of duty.

Lyons said Casper's extensive disciplinary history does not reflect that of an average Erie County Sheriff Deputy.

"I would say that is not typical of the majority of the employees of the sheriff's office," he said.