Mansfield Patrol Sgt. Resigns After 'Sexting' Investigation

Mansfield Patrol Sgt. Resigns After 'Sexting' Investigation

  • 10/4/2017 12:09:13 PM
  • Sartaj Singh
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - A Sergeant with the Mansfield Post of Ohio State Highway Patrol has resigned following an investigation that involves inappropriate text messages, better known as 'sexting', to a female after a 2016 conference. 

42-year-old Galion resident, Sergeant James A. Burkhart, submitted a letter of resignation on August 14th, 2017. 

Burkhart was representing the Ohio State Highway Patrol while he attended a conference on traffic safety in Blue Ash back on June 4th, 2016. While at the conference he met a then 53-year-old female working the conference. 

Following the conference, the female witness received continued text messages and emails that involved "vulgar" photos and bare genitalia.

As the texts became more graphic the female did not respond according to the investigative action report. 

Burkhart texted the victim vulgar texts that stated such things as, quote:

"I'd love to suck on u until u have a giant orgasm. If ud like that,". 

In the investigative action report, the witness responded with:

"That's not appropriate. It's disgusting. And I'm not a prude, but that's just gross."

The report continued into detail on how she felt Burkhart was using his position as the DRE manager to do whatever he wanted and wondered what else he was going to do. 'She felt as if her reputation, all her work, and her livelihood was being threatened.'

In July 2016, the witness was asked to speak at a driving conference that focused on 'drugged driving', a pilot program. At that time, Burkhart was also attending the conference. According to the report, she told investigators that they avoided each other. 

A colleague of the witness asked her, at the conference, what was going on as Burkhart told that individual he was in charge now of everything for the pilot program, and no longer needed their help. 

When authorities at the Ohio State Highway Patrol learned of what was going on a patrol office mentioned to investigators he saw a 'clear attempt by Burkhart to control the program'. 

In January of 2017, Burkhart contacted the female and apologized over the phone. 

Burkhart mentioned that he was familiar with the 'Work Rules for Sworn Personnel', according to the report. "He admitted to engaging in conduct which could reasonably be expected to affect the public's respect, confidence, and trust in the Division." 

The report continued on to say Burkhart said he apologized to the female for "being inappropriate".

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