NEW DETAILS: Deputy was served protection order against ex-wife

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputy on unpaid leave after allegedly assaulting his wife and step-daughter was once placed on paid leave for being served with a protection order against one of his ex-wives.

Douglas C. Gearhart is facing a second-degree felony charge and two misdemeanor domestic violence charges for a Feb. 14 incident in which his wife lost three teeth during an altercation in their Franklin Twp. home. Gearhart is scheduled for a preliminary Feb. 24 in Franklin Municipal Court.

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In 2005, Gearhart was ordered to take a pyschological fitness test, according to his personnel records. He was suspended for more than a week.

“Several months ago, your supervisor recommended you refrain from making contact with your ex-wife,” said a letter from then-personnel director John M. Brands. “However, you did not comply with this recommendation.”

The letter said Gearhart was served with a protection order by the Franklin County Domestic Relations Court.

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A police incident report said surveillance footage from inside Gearhart’s home showed him grabbing his wife, dragging her by the hair through the kitchen and slamming her head onto the edge of the kitchen island.

He also allegedly struck at least one of his step-daughters. After he was stopped by a Warrren County Sheriff’s Office deputy, Gearhart disparaged that office, saying all deputies did there was “drive around in a (expletive) cornfield.”

Gearhart once applied to work for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, indicated he was accepted but wrote “stopped after interview” in the box marked reason for objection, according to personnel records obtained by Ohio open records law show.

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Warren County Sheriff’s deputies and his wife’s daughters said Gearhart was intoxicated when he and his wife returned home from gambling and drinking at Miami Valley Gaming before the incident.

In his 2001 application, the 1992 Dixie High School graduate and Army veteran wrote that he would have a social drink with his wife or friends: “I probably have less than 7-10 drinks per year.”

Gearhart’s job performance reviews at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were mostly positive and his enthusiasm was mentioned, but he was written up for some attendance issues.

Gearhart was commended in 2012 and 2013 for assisting in pat-downs at the jail and for professionalism and poise dealing with “a mentally ill inmate who was less than cooperative, naked and covered in his own body waste.”

In 2004, 2005 and 2009, Gearhart was written up for being late for work and/or using sick time four times in conjunction with days off four times. He also was issued a Letter of Reprimand for a pursuit in 2002 that did not fit the criteria for pursuits according to the office’s standards.

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