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Sheriff William Eckelberry won’t run for re-election amid lawsuit; Tiffin PD Chief Fred Stevens to run

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TIFFIN — Seneca County Sheriff William Eckelberry has withdrawn his petitions to run for re-election amid a lawsuit against himself, the Seneca County Board of Commissioners, and four corrections officers at the Seneca County Jail, according to the Seneca County Board of Elections.

Sheriff Eckelberry had submitted petitions to run for re-election, but withdrew them before Tuesday’s candidate filing deadline.

Three candidates have filed to run for the seat:


  • Captain David Pahl, Seneca County Sheriff’s Office
  • Former Deputy Matt Huffman, Seneca County Sheriff’s Office
  • Chief Fred Stevens, Tiffin Police Department

All three candidates will appear on the Republican primary election ballot on March 17, 2020.

The news of Eckelberry’s withdrawal from the race comes as he was recently named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought forward by a Fremont woman.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Michele Seaman, of Fremont. Seaman is the sister of Rachael Ann Peak and also serves as administrator for Peak’s estate.

Peak was locked up at the jail in 2017 on a misdemeanor theft charge, according to the lawsuit.

Seaman is suing Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry, the Seneca County Board of Commissioners, and four corrections officers at the Seneca County Jail (Barton, Branson, Brooks, and Castanien), accusing them of failing to keep inmates at the jail safe, putting inmates in overcrowded conditions, failing to timely recognize emergency medical issues, and failing to get medical assistance for said issues in a timely manner.


Read more details about the lawsuit here.

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