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Former Ontario County investigator accused of failing to appropriately handle sex crimes

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

William Wellman, an investigator with the Ontario County Sheriff’s Office and current Phelps Town Board member, retired early amid severe allegations of dereliction of duty, according to an internal investigative report published by the Democrat and Chronicle.


The report criticizes Wellman’s handling of two child sex abuse cases, one in 2022 and another in 2019.

In both cases, despite compelling evidence and admissions from the adult suspects, no arrests were made nor supplemental reports submitted, leading to further harm to the victims.

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Wellman, a 27-year veteran of the department and former member of the FBI Child Exploitation and Sex Trafficking Task Force, has been accused by his superiors of carrying an excessive number of open cases and laxity in his investigations.

As of late April, out of his 225 cases, 149 had no supplemental reports submitted.

He has since retired.