July 22, 2014

Medina
Sunny
82°F

County prosecutor’s investigator on voluntary leave, accused of OVI

MEDINA — A longtime Medina County law enforcement officer and investigator for the county Prosecutor’s Office has been charged with driving while intoxicated.

Frederick Wolk II, 59, of Sturbridge Drive, Medina, is scheduled for trial July 28 in Medina Municipal Court before a visiting judge. Medina Municipal Judge Dale Chase withdrew from the case.

Wolk is charged with two misdemeanors: operating a vehicle with intoxicated and failing to drive in marked lanes. He was charged June 13, when county sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Schmoll reported pulling Wolk over just after midnight near River Styx and Ridgewood roads in Montville Township.

Schmoll reported Wolk appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Wolk was taken to the Montville Police Department where he declined to take a breathtest to determine his blood-alcohol content, resulting in the automatic suspension of his driver’s license.

Wolk’s attorney, David Sheldon, said his client was not intoxicated and is confident he will be vindicated.

“I’ve known Fred a long time. He’s got a solid background and he’s a great person and a great law enforcement officer,” Sheldon said. “He’s denying he committed an OVI.”

When contacted by a reporter, Wolk directed questions to Sheldon, adding, “Things are not always as they appear.”

Wolk was not booked at the county jail, but Medina County Sheriff Tom Miller said that was because of the county’s policy of not jailing non-violent suspects if the facility is full.

“In this case, the jail was full,” Miller said.

Miller also said that two Smith & Wesson handguns — a Bodyguard .380-caliber and an M&P Shield 9mm semiautomatic — found in Wolk’s 2010 Chevrolet Camaro were not relevant to the OVI case because the guns were secured in the trunk and were not loaded.

“They were a non-issue,” Miller said. “They were not ready at hand.”

Under Ohio law, a person may be charged with a felony for improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle if they are driving under the influence with a loaded weapon in the vehicle.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman said Wolk, who’s worked for his office as an investigator since April 2012, has not been at work since he was charged.

“The day after this incident, he took an unpaid, voluntary leave of absence and has not been back to work since,” Holman said.

The prosecutor said he would wait until “the appropriate time” to make any personnel decisions regarding Wolk’s employment.

“Fred Wolk has done great work in this office, and before that, he did great work with the Medina County Sheriff’s Office and the Medina County Drug Task Force,” Holman said.

According to Wolk’s resume on the LinkedIn.com website, he was a law enforcement training director for the Ohio Attorney General, director of the Medina County Drug Task Force, a sheriff’s detective and a police officer. He’s worked in Medina County since 1979.

Wolk makes about $40,000 a year at his county job, according to the county Auditor’s Office.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.