Thursday, April 20, 2000

Deputy heard auditor's calls

Ms. Rogers defends phone calls to ex

BY Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — While Gary M. Rogers was swearing out a telephone-harassment complaint against his ex-wife, Butler County Auditor Kay Rogers, a sheriff's deputy witnessed Mr. Rogers take three phone calls from her, Col. Richard K. Jones, sheriff's chief deputy, confirmed Wednesday.

        Col. Jones would describe neither the tenor nor the subject matter of the calls. The deputy who witnessed the calls April 12 at Butler County Area III Court in Union Township, Lt. Greg Blankenship, has been instructed not to discuss them, Col. Jones said.

        Ms. Rogers on Wednesday defended her actions, saying she had legitimate reasons for contacting her ex-husband, and he calls her, too.

        She said the calls she placed to him apparently occurred a day before she was leaving on an out-of-town trip, and the topics discussed included activities of the couple's six children. She said other matters were included in the calls, but she declined to elaborate.

        Ms. Rogers said she and her ex-husband have various purposes for contacting each other.

        “He called me twice at my house on (Monday) the day they were arresting me,” Ms. Rogers said. She says he called her twice on Sunday.

        When told about Ms. Rogers' statements Wednesday, Mr. Rogers' lawyer, Bradford Sanders of Montgomery, replied, “I assume that all of these matters will be determined in court.” He wouldn't comment further.

        Ms. Rogers is scheduled to face the telephone harassment charge, a first-degree misdemeanor, in the Union Township court on May 8. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 6 months and a $1,000 fine.

        In an unrelated matter, Ms. Rogers' phone calls to a victim's advocate were part of an Ohio Ethics Commission complaint that Butler County Prosecutor John F. Holcomb lodged against Ms. Rogers.

        Ms. Rogers responded by filing a federal lawsuit against Mr. Holcomb and said she no longer trusts him to represent her office.

        Given such clashes with Ms. Rogers, Mr. Holcomb has said he will seek a special prosecutor and visiting judge in the telephone harassment case.


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