COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Two days ago, we showed you how an NBC4 viewer found an electronic ankle monitoring device. It had been cut off and discarded in a south Columbus parking lot.
Less than 24 hours later, another viewer contacted NBC 4 Investigator Tom Sussi. Another ankle monitor was found discarded at the corner of Parsons Avenue and Obetz Road.
“My concern is that we have individuals who are walking the streets who should have these on so we know where they’re at,” said Greg First, Safety Director for the Conie Construction Company.
First said a co-worker found the device while installing a fire hydrant.
We’d like nothing more than to tell you who was wearing those monitoring devices, and why, but we can’t.
According to Ohio law, information about offenders wearing monitoring devices is not public record. As it stands, prosecutors and police must file subpoenas to get that information.
State Representative Kristin Boggs (D-18th District) is one of the sponsors of the Reagan Tokes Act.
Brian Golsby kidnapped, raped and murdered the OSU student last year while wearing a GPS ankle monitor. Part of the representative’s bill demands law enforcement have access to monitored offenders information.
“There needs to be accountability for where those offenders who’ve been assigned those monitors are,” said Rep. Boggs.
Both of the ankle monitors our viewers found come from BI Incorporated in Colorado. The Franklin County Common Pleas Court has a contract with them for monitoring devices and services.
We immediately contacted the company about the latest discarded monitor one of our viewers found.
A company spokesperson emailed Sussi: “Our call center is reaching out to the supervising agency regarding the device you identify. Again, I am not authorized to comment on a monitored individual as the agency owns that information.”
NBC4 Investigates also contacted the Franklin County Common Pleas Court Deputy Director, Susan Bedsole. She said they have 37 offenders on house arrest, and wearing ankle monitors.
What we don’t know yet is how often offenders cut off them off and go AWOL.
“The whole reason that these (monitoring devices) were created was to create a fence, a barrier, so society knows that this is where the person is,” said First. “That’s just not there.”
According to Bedsole, any offender can be placed on house arrest and ordered to wear ankle monitors, including juvenile offenders. It’s up to the judge’s discretion, explained Bedsole.
Last week, the family of Reagan Tokes filed a wrongful death suit against Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and NISRE, Inc., the company that owns the EXIT Program, which provided Golsby housing.
The lawsuit claims neither party properly monitored Golsby’s GPS device. In addition to murdering Reagan Tokes, Golsby managed to beat and rob seven people last year.