A spokeswoman for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department said officials violated no policies in granting a deputy, with three drunk driving convictions, a position where his primary responsibility is to drive. Police charged the man with drunk driving again after a crash Christmas Eve.
The department confirms Deputy David Miller has transported prisoners for the past six years, and the spokeswoman said he's been allowed to do so because his drunk driving convictions, in 1988, 1994 and 2007, are misdemeanors. Plus, he's had a valid driver's license.
She also said that Miller's entire background was reviewed when he applied for the transport job in 2010 after working a desk job with the sheriff's department.
North Olmsted police said Miller passed a car on the left on Gessner Road Saturday night and hit it. No one was injured. He then refused a breathalyzer test and failed a sobriety field test.
"What is he doing, one, being a sheriff and, two, still having his license?" questioned a witness to the crash who wants to remain anonymous.
Miller's state driving record indicates he did not get his license suspended after his 1988 conviction in Elyria. In 1994, his license was suspended for two weeks when he refused a breathalyzer test in Westlake. He was later convicted. In 2007, his license was suspended for six months after refusing a breathalyzer test and later being found guilty of drunk driving in Elyria.
"In my opinion, I think it's ridiculous," the witness added.
The department said Miller is on unpaid administrative leave from his job pending the outcome of an internal investigation. He pled not guilty to the latest charges at his arraignment Tuesday.