Friday, April 27, 2001

Letters deemed no threat

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Letters sent to Deerfield Township Trustee Barbara Reed were not threatening, Warren County Prosecutor Tim Oliver said Thursday.

        Authorities have dropped the investigation into Ms. Reed's contention that someone had sent her three intimidating letters.

        “Those letters did not contain any threatening type language which would constitute a crime,” Mr. Oliver said. “On that issue, I indicated to the deputy that we would not be proceeding.”

        However, the question still remains who sent two of the letters — one of which contained the name of former Trustee Joseph Mettey.

        Mr. Mettey, who admits to sending a December letter criticizing Ms. Reed, has denied sending an April 23 letter that included his name.

        Ms. Reed said the letter, which prompted her to contact the sheriff's office, threatened to destroy her “politically, professionally and personally.”

        Sheriff Tom Ariss said he does not intend to pursue the identities of the letter writers. A letter sent to Ms. Reed in August was purported to be from Residents of Landen Lake.

        “If (the prosecutor) says there is no crime, there is no case,” Sheriff Ariss said.

        Ms. Reed said she plans to have her attorney urge Mr. Oliver to reconsider closing the investigation.

        “If Mr. Oliver would have bothered to give me a call, he would see it is part of a series of events that makes it much more dangerous than he thinks it is,” Ms. Reed said, declining to elaborate.

        Mr. Mettey said he thinks he was slandered and he intends to talk to a lawyer to determine who wrote the April letter using his name.

        “They drug me into this and made me out to be someone taking a cheap shot at the trustees,” Mr. Mettey said. “I'm the victim now. It isn't Barbara Reed.”


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