Tuesday, April 25, 2000

Dog warden spared jail

Shelter theft netted $80

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Saying Monday that Rodney Brown had suffered enough because he lost his job, a judge spared the former Warren County dog warden a six-month jail term for stealing $80 from the local animal shelter.

        Instead, Lebanon Municipal Judge Mark Bogen ordered Mr. Brown to perform 200 hours of community service for a nonprofit organization, and to pay restitution as well as a $1,000 fine.

        The 43-year-old Deerfield Township resident also must attend a one-day program for theft offenders, Judge Bogen said.

        Judge Bogen also suspended a six-month jail term.

        “I'm taking into consideration that you suffered a tremendous loss in terms of retirement eligibility,” the judge said.

        Mr. Brown, who worked for the county for nearly 25 years and as a dog warden since the 1980s, would have been eligible to retire in about five years and begin collecting a pension, County Administrator Bob Price said.

        Instead, Mr. Brown was forced to resign.

        Charged initially with felony theft in office, Mr. Brown pleaded no contest in March to a reduced misdemeanor theft charge.

        He was arrested in February after an official at the Humane Association of Warren County filed a police complaint.

        The county dog warden shares office space at the shelter.

        Mr. Brown offered no explanation for his actions. His lawyer, Greg Demos, said Mr. Brown has paid back the stolen money.


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