MOUNT VERNON — The request by attorney Scott Pullins for the Knox County Common Pleas Court to find probable cause of criminal activity by a Knox County Commissioner was denied by visiting judge James Wallace Luse.
Pullins alleged Bob Wise, commissioner and local businessman, threatened employees of CES Credit Union with deadly harm in 2007.
“Apparently the Mount Vernon city prosecutor nor the Knox County prosecutor have ever properly investigated or brought formal charges concerning this matter,” Pullins wrote in his support of prosecution.
Pullins further states he believes the lack of prosecutions is an “abuse of discretion” because Wise is a fellow elected official. Because of this conflict of interest, Pullins requested a special prosecutor for the case.
Two counts of unlawful interest in a public contract involving propane tanks and sales between Wise Choice Propane LLC and the Knox County Airport Authority and the Knox County Fair Board were included in the petition filed by Pullins in February. Wise was also accused of tampering with propane tanks owned by competitors.
“We have 30 days to decide whether to appeal or not,” Pullins said in an e-mail Monday afternoon. “Considering that voters have spoken on Mr. Wise’s tenure, I can’t say it’s likely that we will appeal.”
“The Ohio Ethics Committee has cleared me of all of these charges except the threat, where I was cleared by the bank president, the Mount Vernon law director and the Mount Vernon police,” Wise told the News in February.
This morning, Wise admitted to the conflict of interest involving the sale of propane to the Knox County Airport Authority and believed the issue was resolved between his attorney and Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher.
“No one realizes how intense the Ethics Commission is, how thorough they go into these kinds of things,” Wise said. “... I hope it is over and we can all move forward.”