Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Butler County auditor arrested

Rogers accused of harassing husband

BY Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Kay Rogers
        HAMILTON — Butler County Auditor Kay Rogers was arrested Monday on a telephone harassment complaint filed by her ex-husband.

        Ms. Rogers, 41, was arrested at her home in the 7300 block of Lake Lakota Circle in Butler County's Union Township. She spent about two hours at the county jail's book-in area and was released on her promise to appear for court proceedings.

        Butler County Prosecutor John F. Holcomb said a special prosecutor and an outside judge would be needed to handle the case. He and Ms. Rogers have clashed publicly in recent months.

        In December, Mr. Holcomb filed an ethics complaint against her and she responded by asking that he no longer represent her office. Mr. Holcomb didn't elaborate on why a special prosecutor and judge would be needed, and said he knew nothing about the case against Ms. Rogers other than the fact that she was arrested.

        News of the arrest quickly became the topic of discussion in many county offices Monday.

        “I feel hurt,” said Lynn Edward Kinkaid, chief deputy auditor/administration. “I feel hurt for her and the children. We here in the office think a lot of Kay, and anytime she has any kind of problem or a burden, I think we all suffer it with her.”

        Two of Ms. Rogers' six children were at home when she was arrested there around 12:15 p.m., said Col. Richard K. Jones, Butler County sheriff's chief deputy. The children have a live-in nanny, who agreed to care for them while their mother was with police.

        Col. Jones said sheriff's officials sent an unmarked cruiser and two plainclothes deputies rather than a marked vehicle and uniformed officers “as a courtesy.” She also was permitted to sit in the front seat of the vehicle. Otherwise, Ms. Rogers was treated the same as any other suspect in such a case, Col. Jones said.

        Ms. Rogers was handcuffed before being escorted into the jail, as jail regulations require, and was frisked, said Lt. Ed Martin, deputy warden.

        “I've been told not to treat her any differently than anyone else,” he said.

        Butler County Sheriff Harold Don Gabbard said the sheriff's office had no choice but to arrest Ms. Rogers because there was a court order. The Butler County Area III Court on Monday issued a warrant for her arrest based on a complaint by Gary M. Rogers, 46, of Middletown.

        Mr. Rogers, in a report filed with the sheriff's office Wednesday, told deputies that Ms. Rogers was upset about a lawsuit pending between them and was “continually calling him on his cell phone and causing him to pay for the calls.”

        Mr. Rogers said the calls have been occurring for several months. He declined to comment Monday, as did Ms. Rogers.

        The charge Ms. Rogers faces is a first-degree misdemeanor; no court date had been set as of late Monday afternoon.

        Attorney Rob Lyons, who has represented Ms. Rogers in the civil suit Mr. Rogers filed against her, said he cannot represent Ms. Rogers in the telephone harassment case because that would conflict with his duties as an area court judge in Oxford. Mr. Lyons, too, was the subject of an ethics complaint filed by Mr. Holcomb earlier this year. He declined to discuss the status of that complaint.

        The lawsuit, which Mr. Rogers says has upset his ex-wife, involves a video store business, Silver Screen Co., in which Mr. Rogers owns a minority interest. Mr. Rogers has claimed that his ex-wife and another business associate refused to provide him with documents that would help him determine the value of his interest in the corporation. He also has alleged they misappropriated corporate assets.

        The case, which was filed in December 1998, was assigned to a mediator last month.


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