Rebuttal to claims made by former sheriff

It’s unfortunate that the mudslinging must continue, this time from retired Sheriff Toby Spencer. I have held back during the entire campaign process, and haven’t attempted to sling mud on my opponent; however, in this case I feel I must point out that Mr. Spencer has made several defamatory and false statements about me.

Mr. Spencer recently wrote a letter to the editor of a local paper containing several lies. Mr. Spencer first stated that he did comprehensive background checks on his employees, that included bad debts. I will not sling mud on those people that have bad debts and name them personally, but I can assure you that the Sheriff’s Office currently employs multiple people that have bad debts and had had judgements rendered against them in court. This is all public record and can be checked and found to be fact.

Mr. Spencer stated that I have “failed all these checks in a concerning way” referring to cases in Darke County, Randolph County, Ind., Wayne County, Ind., and the Federal Court of the Southern District of Ohio.

Regarding the issue in Darke County, there was a civil lawsuit filed in March 2022. This case has been resolved and the debt has been taken care of in full, there were circumstances surrounding this debt that was unbeknownst to me and as soon as I was aware of the debt, it was taken care of.

The next issue Mr. Spencer raised was a civil case in Randolph County. Since Mr. Spencer did not do his research, I will let you know that I was not found civilly liable in that case and judgement was made in my favor. It’s unfortunate Mr. Spencer didn’t look at all of the public records that were available or he would have found the truth.

The Wayne County civil debt was in fact a hospital bill. There is nothing I can say about the judgement except that I failed to pay the bill in a timely manner.

As far as the Federal Court Cases go, they are still in litigation, and I can only say that the case he refers to, stems from an incident that occurred in 2018. While I was in fact on the scene of the incident, I was named in the lawsuit simply because I am the Chief of Police. It is common when someone files a lawsuit, that they include multiple defendants in the case. There was one statement which stated I refused an ambulance for an injured person. I will be very clear, I did not refuse an ambulance to anyone on that day; in fact the male that claimed he had chest pain, left in an ambulance before I departed the scene that day. The ambulance was staged for the safety of the crews, once we were able to deem the scene safe for the EMS providers to enter, and they in fact did transport the male to the hospital. Once again, you would think before Mr. Spencer would make such defamatory and “half truths” that he would have done some research.

Mr. Spencer also suggested that I have never voted in an election while living in Darke County. That is a 100 percent lie.

Mr. Spencer continued on to call the FOP “dysfunctional” for several years and cited that they operated against their own by-laws by “dabbling” in politics. That, again, is a lie. The by-laws actually address that the FOP absolutely can be involved in politics. Maybe during his time as sheriff, Mr. Spencer should have taken the time to treat officers from other law enforcement agencies with a little bit of respect and dignity and should have educated himself a little better on what the FOP actually does. He must have failed to remember that the FOP made several thousands of dollars worth of donations to his agency to help with their K-9 program.

While I am not perfect, I have never claimed to be perfect. I have my faults and I will be the first to admit that. It is very unfortunate that Mr. Spencer has conducted himself in such a way to make defamatory and false statements about me all in the name of an election.

I appreciate the support that I have received through this campaign. I encourage everyone to go out and vote on May 3, 2022.

Mark Ater, Chief

Union City, Ohio, Police Dept.

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