Sheriff Chris Quire has reassigned the detective criticized by all five Franklin County public defenders for attending a pro-Trump rally that ended in a mob siege of the U.S. Capitol.
Quire announced the reassignment of Jeff Farmer "to another role in the sheriff's office" in a news release Sunday afternoon, two days after the group of public defenders released their letter. In that letter, they also criticized Farmer’s police record, making claims of racial bias that The State Journal has yet to verify.
Because of those accusations, Quire said that “a thorough investigation” will be conducted.
Did Franklin County Sheriff Chris Quire do the right thing in reassigning a detective who was criticized by public defenders for attending last week's Trump rally in Washington, D.C., and for alleged misconduct during his law enforcement career?
Farmer has not responded to a request for comment.
In the release, Quire made clear that his reassignment of Farmer was not due to his attending the Trump rally in Washington, D.C., as he found no proof that Farmer took part in illegal activities there.
“The freedom to assemble is an inalienable right given to us by our Constitution,” Quire wrote. “The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office supports the right of all citizens, including its deputies, to exercise their First Amendment right. As for questions of Detective Farmer committing any crime during the event, he has stated his innocence and that is a presumption fundamental to the rule of law in our country. No evidence has been presented that indicates Detective Farmer committed any crime.”
Quire stressed that he took time to search for facts regarding both sets of accusations — Farmer’s involvement in the rally and the allegations concerning his past police work.
“I have read and re-read the letter sent regarding Detective Farmer," Quire wrote. "Due to the severity of the accusations levied, I took the time to evaluate the facts listed in the letter."
The public defenders, in their letter, wrote that Farmer has “been involved in many cases which reflect targeting and racial profiling.”
Quire said that his office appreciates all citizens who have reached out since the letter was first published.