Police: Clerk of Courts Office employee gave confidential info to targets of drug investigation

Posted at 11:39 AM, Nov 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-09 19:24:27-05

CINCINNATI -- A 22-year employee with the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts faces two felony charges related to a drug investigation and leaking official information.

Yakyma Boyd, 45, is charged with two counts of tampering with records. According to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, she took confidential documents and information and distributed it to targets of a wide-scale drug investigation. The investigation was a RENU -- Regional Narcotics Unit -- investigation involving multiple jurisdictions, according to court documents.

“The charges against Yakyma Boyd are grave and serious, and we take them seriously," County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval said in a statement. "If true, her actions are criminal and a violation of the public trust. We are cooperating with law enforcement and are working as a team to fully investigate this matter."

Pureval said Boyd is suspended and on unpaid leave.

The investigation into Boyd began mid-October, according to court documents. Boyd was arrested and charged Thursday.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called it "sickening" to think that someone would take money to violate the trust put in them by the public.

"This entire case makes me want to vomit," he said. "I was a former clerk of courts. And it is our duty to protect the police."

Another person, Earnest Bryant, was charged with drug trafficking, drug possession and two counts of tampering with records and a weapons charge. In court on Thursday, a prosecutor said Bryant was paying Boyd for information in search and arrest warrants.

Boyd's attorney said Boyd never distributed any sealed documents -- the documents were available on the clerk of courts website.

In court Thursday, Det. Greg Morgan from RENU said the information allegedly leaked by Boyd put the lives of police personnel in danger.

"Removing this case-sensitive information has jeopardized multiple covert operations," Morgan said.

Particularly, in the case of sealed search warrants, a suspect could arm his or herself before police arrive at their home, the prosecutor said.

In the past, Cincinnati has seen the dangerous situations that result from a suspect who is armed and waiting for officers to execute a warrant.

On Dec. 6, 1997, Officer Daniel Pope and Police Specialist Ronald Jeter were killed when they tried to arrest Alonzo Davenport at his apartment in CUF. Davenport knew police were looking for him and he armed himself with a .38 Special before answering his door and inviting them in.

Lt. Don Luck was the sergeant of the two officers who died. He said that was "easily the worst day of my life."

Luck said Davenport was warned that police were going to arrest him -- and that gave him the time to arm himself.

"He let them in and he killed them. Shot them both in the head," Luck said. "When people have time to prepare for them, that's what they do."

Luck said the accusations made against Boyd "hit home."

"Anything you do that purposefully adds risk to (police work) -- there are already certain risks," Luck said. "But something like this can take it from an 8 to a 10."