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Official Faces Zoning and Animal Cruelty Charges
CLERMONT COUNTY, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- Ken Huffaker is behind bars in Clinton County on four animal cruelty charges and a probation violation.
Local 12 News broke the story Thursday about the dead and starving animals on Ken Huffaker's Clinton County property. But the other part of the story is what life is like for people around his home in Goshen. Local 12's Rich Jaffe has new information on the case.
Huffaker surrendered to Clinton County authorities late Thursday. If he'd gotten lucky he might have made a bond hearing this morning but that didn't happen. Instead he's spending the weekend in jail.
Investigators, the prosecutor and a judge in Clinton County are clearly unhappy with how he responded to an animal cruelty conviction in March. What Local 12 found is Huffaker also has a lot of issues in his own backyard, or front yard.
Neighbors say Ken Huffaker's front yard at Main and Plum in Goshen has had dead chickens in one of the trailers and his turkey's frequently run loose in the neighborhood. Frustrated neighbors say living near this house is tough.
I've called animal control, Goshen police, even had contact with the trustees to no avail. No one will do anything about it.
Della Cook moved into her house a couple of doors away in 1999. Her first issue with the Huffakers came after watching how they treated a chocolate lab which they kept in a chicken coop.
We watched how they fed it. They would throw food through the chicken coop part of it. They never let him out. They had dogs tied to bumpers of cars. We witnessed just last year, they only have about an acre, they had cows and horses living on that acre in mud up to their second joints.
A lot of the cows and horses on the Goshen property apparently ended up on Huffaker's property in Clinton County where they starved and/or died. Convicted of animal cruelty in March, Huffaker was ordered to clean up the property and care for the animals. Investigators say that didn't happen and now he's facing more charges.
In Goshen though, Ken Huffaker's been President of the Citizens Police Academy. He was on the zoning board and is currently on the zoning appeals board. At the same time we found he's been charged criminally at least 15 times for zoning violations! Each time he fixes the problem just enough.
Ray Snyder, Police Chief says, Cases never would have been closed had it not been improved to the level that he was in compliance with the zoning code. The unfortunate thing is typically once the problem is cleaned up it's a matter of months or years before things start to accumulate over there again and we're right back where we started.
Now Police Chief Ray Snyder wears a lot of Goshen hats. He's the Township Administrator as well as the head of zoning. He tells me that he had Den Huffaker in his office this summer and ordered him to once again clean up the property. He tells me if the property is not shipshape by November, they'll file charges on him once again. The bigger question is how do the trustees appoint a guy like this to any kind of official position?
Ken Huffaker is scheduled for a bond hearing in Clinton County Monday morning. Local 12 will have it covered for you.