Assistant DA disputes drug allegations by informant

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Kan. -- Former Franklin County attorney and current assistant District Attorney in Johnson County, Heather Jones, is fighting back against allegations she bought meth.

The information surfaced when records were unsealed in Franklin County Monday regarding ouster proceedings against Sheriff Jeff Curry -- which charged Curry with interfering with a police investigation.

Those documents say Curry warned Jones an informant had told federal investigators Jones had been buying drugs.

But, late Monday, Jones' attorney reputed many of the allegations in the documents that were unsealed.

Robin Fowler emailed this lengthy news release on behalf of his client, Heather Jones -- who is currently an assistant district attorney in Johnson County.

The release says the ouster petition unsealed in Franklin County gives a misleading and inaccurate description of the investigation.

In it, it claimed on two occasions a confidential informant, or CI, witnessed Jones buying meth.

Jones' attorney fired back saying the petition failed to disclose the CI  has since been contradicted by at least two sources. He went on to say Jones broke no law and committed no crime.

He said making the allegations public was unfair and unjust -- the drug buy never happened.

Former Sheriff Curry, through his attorney, is also coming to Jones' defense.

In that statement, it says all parties who reviewed the evidence and followed up on the drug-related allegations have confirmed that the CI’s report was completely false as it related to Jones.

All this came to be because Sheriff Curry lied about telling Jones about the investigation and that they were having an affair.

He has since admitted to lying -- and in the statement from his attorney -- says he's made mistakes in his personal life that he regrets.

Curry resigned Monday and took a plea that will put him on diversion for a year. He must also surrender his law enforcement license.

Jones' current employer, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe, said he had requested information on the case but has been denied access.

Howe said until he had time to review everything, he cannot comment because it's a personnel issue, but added Jones remained employed by his office.

READ STATEMENT FROM STEVE HOWE

I have not previously seen or been made privy to the allegations in the ouster petition. We asked the Shawnee County district attorney Franklin County attorney and KBI for information related to these allegations and they have refused to provide it. Once we've Reviewed all the facts we will make a decision,  beyond that we cannot comment any further because it's a personnel matter.

 

READ STATEMENT FROM ROBIN D. FOWLER, JONES' ATTORNEY

The ouster petition unsealed today in Franklin County, Kansas, gives a misleading and inaccurate description of the investigation involving Heather Jones. While the petition describes the allegation made last May in full detail, it neglects to point out that the confidential source has since that time been contradicted by at least two sources whom the CI claimed would corroborate his/her version of events.
Litigation involving this petition, which was sealed when filed in an action to which Heather was not a party, and which was never served upon her, violates the fundamental principles of due process which we normally expect in this country. The drafters of this pleading took basic steps to protect the privacy rights of both the informant making the allegation, as well as the CI’s “known associate.” The fact that the privacy rights of these individuals were protected, while Heather’s was not, speaks volumes about the fairness of this investigation.

 

Heather Jones has broken no law, and committed no crime. The allegation that she purchased or used methamphetamine is false. She is not now, and never has been, the subject of any federal investigation. The state drug investigation has not only failed to corroborate the source of allegation, but has in fact developed evidence from multiple sources which contradicts that allegation. The fact that uncharged and discredited allegations have been made public in this manner is unfair, unjust, and violates the most basic principles of justice in this county.

READ STATEMENT FROM N. TREY PETTLON, CURRY'S ATTORNEY

In court today I expressed my concerns, concerns which my client shares, that the Ouster Petition includes false allegations made by a confidential informant (hereinafter “CI”) about Heather Jones who is not a party to the ouster petition or criminal proceedings.  The CI’s allegations were known by members of local law enforcement including my client, then Sheriff Curry, to be untrue when they were made.

 

Sheriff Curry advised his staff to immediately disclose the allegations to Federal Law Enforcement authorities who were overseeing a drug investigation and to withhold nothing.  That was done immediately.  Sheriff Curry then informed Heather Jones of the allegation as he advised his staff he would.  Ms. Jones, according to everyone involved including the State’s witnesses, did not hide the information that had been shared with her.  Instead she is the very party that reported it to the prosecutor in charge of the investigation.

 

All parties who have reviewed the evidence and followed up on the drug-related allegations have confirmed that the CI’s report was completely false as it related to Heather Jones.  Subsequent investigation has confirmed that Ms. Jones was either knowingly or recklessly slandered by the CI.  This misinformation is what my client was trying to avoid all along.

 

By accepting diversion and resigning his office, my client has tried to end this matter as quickly as possible.  In one year, the charges should be dismissed just as if they were dismissed today.

 

Sheriff Curry has devoted his life to law enforcement.  He has made mistakes in his personal life that he regrets but it never affected his ability or his desire to be the best Sheriff he could be.  Today Franklin County lost a good Sheriff.

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