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Published: Friday, 10/18/2002

Allen County official says sheriff bullied him

LIMA, Ohio - Allen County Commissioner Steve Diepenbrock yesterday accused Sheriff Dan Beck of threatening him and his family if he did not agree to forfeit his salary to boost the county's sagging general fund.

At a budget meeting attended by the sheriff, Mr. Diepenbrock said Sheriff Beck said he and his family would be sorry if he did not take his advice.

Sheriff Beck countered that Mr. Diepenbrock misinterpreted the conversation. While admitting he made those statements, Sheriff Beck said he meant failing to forfeit his salary would damage his political career.

Mr. Diepenbrock, a businessman who formerly owned an auto dealership, earns about $50,000 a year as a county commissioner. Sheriff Beck was at the hearing to ask that commissioners boost his budget so that he can cover a projected $183,000 shortfall in December's payroll.

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