Thursday, July 17, 2003

Tristate A.M. Report



Compiled from staff and wire reports

Former Cleves chief given probation

Former Cleves Police Chief Gary Coffey promised a Hamilton County judge Wednesday that he will never work in law enforcement again, moments before she sentenced him to six months probation on charges of unauthorized use of a computer and dereliction of duty.

Coffey resigned June 18 when he pleaded guilty to the charges, according to court documents.

Prosecutors say Coffey, 39, illegally accessed the police computer system and failed to do his duty. At least once he lost a traffic ticket belonging to an out-of-town man, according to the prosecutor's office.

Ex-clerk pleads guilty to theft while in office

LEBANON - A former chief deputy clerk accused of embezzling $16,000 in bond money and fines from Franklin Municipal Court pleaded guilty Wednesday to theft in office.

Dianne Hayslett, 52, of Franklin, faces one to five years in prison when she is sentenced in about a month.

In exchange for her plea, a second felony charge of tampering with records was dismissed.

Hayslett recently was ordered in a civil matter to pay $24,664 to reimburse the city of Franklin for the stolen money and the expenses incurred for an audit and investigation.

She is accused of pocketing bonds and fines that she received from the sheriff's office, Franklin police and defendants from March 2000 until Jan. 31, 2001, when she was forced out of her job because of the thefts.

The money was discovered missing in October 2000, and Judge James Ruppert allowed Hayslett to remain on the job and begin reimbursing the court while she was under police investigation.

Kings Schools to perform mold tests

DEERFIELD TWP. - Kings Schools will be having mold tests done at the high school before school starts next month.

The building had a mold problem a couple of years ago, but that problem was corrected. Superintendent David Query said the school has no identified mold at this time.

But parents have raised concerns at recent board meetings that a problem could have resurfaced.

The testing will be after all the summer cleaning is complete, and results should be presented to the board next month.

Metro surveys seek public ideas on deficit

As Metro tries to decide how to cope with an expected $4.3 million deficit forecast for next year, Hamilton County's public bus service is asking the public for input.

The agency will be putting surveys on buses and at its office downtown, and include the surveys in all schedules that are mailed out.

In addition, there will be a recorded telephone survey at 632-7574 and a Web site survey at www.sorta.com.

Man pleads no contest to soliciting 'teen'

A Pickerington, Ohio, man pleaded no contest and was found guilty Wednesday of soliciting sex over the Internet from what he thought was a Hamilton County teenager, but really was a detective posing as the girl.

A Hamilton County judge found Thomas Tarbay guilty of attempted unlawful sexual contact with a minor and five counts of importuning.

Tarbay will be sentenced by Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker Aug. 12. Tarbay faces up to 51/2 years in prison and will be designated a sexually oriented offender.

Tarbay was arrested by sheriff's detectives March 27 when he came to Hamilton County to meet the girl he had solicited for sex. He is one of 23 men arrested by an Internet task force of detectives from Cincinnati police and the sheriff's office since 2001. He is the 16th to be convicted.

Employee sentenced for taking $120K

An employee of a Kenwood law firm who stole $120,000 from the firm was sent to the Hamilton County Justice Center Wednesday for 60 days and ordered to pay back the money she took.

Steffanie Schafer, 32, of Colerain Township, pleaded guilty June 23 in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to a charge of aggravated theft for taking the money from the firm of Keating, Ritchie and Swick, according to court records.

She took the money between 1995 and September 2002, when the theft was discovered, records show. Schafer was fired after the theft was discovered, according to a spokesman for the law firm.




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