CIRCLEVILLE — The executive director of the Pickaway County Veteran Service Office was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday pending an investigation into charges of misconduct in office.

Rebecca J. Lee, long-time head of the local veterans agency, was temporarily removed from the position and will be replaced by Teresa Laux in the interim until the investigation is complete, according to Bennie Branham, member of the Pickaway County Veteran Service Commission.

Four members of the five-person board in attendance at Thursday’s special meeting unanimously voted to approve the action without going into details of the nature of the charges.

Branham said accusations of misconduct had been brought to the board’s attention “by an individual,” and the board was obligated to investigate the accusations that involved files currently in the possession of the Pickaway County Prosecutor.

Mike Tatman, Lee’s estranged husband, interrupted the meeting briefly to acknowledge he was the person who brought the information to the board.

Lee and Tatman were both arrested Sunday by the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office on charges of domestic violence and menacing against each other, but the accusations of misconduct are unrelated to that event, according to Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor.

Wolford also confirmed the investigation is not a criminal one at this time.

Lee’s attorney, who appeared with her at Thursday’s meeting, questioned the board as to why Lee was not notified in advance of the action, and said she had the right to discuss the situation with the board in executive session.

The board, however, said they did not intend to discuss the matter until the investigation is completed by the firm of Clemons, Nelson & Associates.

The meeting lasted little more than five minutes, and Lee had no comment following the meeting.

Branham said the action was “very unpleasant,” but the board was obligated to pursue the investigation. When they receive the results, it will then become a matter of public record.

In addition to Branham, other members of the board include Ron Clifton, Thomas Tootle, Dennis Warner and James Price.

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