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Published: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 11:54 AM
— The Ohio auditor’s office today ordered a former New Madison fiscal officer to repay $8,166 in mishandled public funds, months after theft in office charges against her were dropped.
The state audit released today says Wanda Lacey was consistently late in paying federal, state and local taxes and filing reports in 2013 and 2014, leading the village to pay penalties and interest for back taxes.
“This fiscal officer forced taxpayers to shoulder the consequences of her negligence,” Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said in a release. “She could have avoided these penalties by simply doing her job.”
The finding for recovery – an order to repay the money – was issued against Lacey and her bonding company.
Meanwhile, charges that Lacey stole more than $21,500 from 2010 to 2015 – when she stopped working for the township – were dropped in September, according to Darke County court records.
Lacey had been free on a recognizance bond since shortly after those charges were filed in December 2016 after an indictment by a Darke County grand jury.
Darke County Prosecutor Kelly Ormsby could not be reached for comment Thursday about why the charges were dropped.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 10:43 AM
Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 10:43 AM
— Willis E. Blackshear, longtime Montgomery County recorder and Montgomery County Democratic Party stalwart, has died, Dayton and county officials confirmed today. He was 57.
“He was always passionate about public service and really passionate about how people can make a difference in their communities if they got involved in politics,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who said Blackshear died overnight in hospice care after a long illness.
Blackshear worked his way up the ranks during 22 years in the county’s treasurer’s office. In 2006 he was appointed county recorder. In 2008, he was elected to his first full term and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.
Born and raised in Dayton, Blackshear continued to reside in the city with his wife, Regina. He also leaves behind an adult son, Willis Jr.
Blackshear graduated from Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and received his BA in political Science from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., according to his county biography.
We will continue to update this story as it develops.
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 2:32 PM
TROY – Details are being finalized for the housing of federal prisoners in Miami County for the first time in nearly a decade.
Sheriff Dave Duchak said his staff is working with the federal marshal’s service on a contract under which up to 20 prisoners would be housed in pods at the county Incarceration Facility located between Troy and Piqua.
The proposed agreement would allow for up to 15 males and five females. The county would be paid $59 per day, per prisoner and would be paid to transport the prisoners to and from the facility to federal court in Dayton.
The Incarceration Facility was built in 1999 with the goal at the time of using one half of its four, 60-person pods to house local prisoners and to rent the other half to help offset facility operating costs.
The county housed prisoners for other counties and the federal marshal’s service before the facility was closed at the end of 2009 because of budget cuts blamed on the recession. The sheriff’s office reopened one of the facility’s pods in 2013, the second in 2014 and a third last year.
Last year, the sheriff’s office again started renting a few beds to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office and Greenville police. More recently, the Pike County Sheriff’s Office has been renting beds. Those agencies are using about 10 beds a day. Last year, the sheriff’s office brought in around $100,000 from bed rentals.
“I don’t have a problem renting out beds as long as it doesn’t hurt our judges’ ability to incarcerate,” Duchak said.
County Commission President John “Bud” O’Brien said he and fellow commissioners are “certainly in favor of the sheriff renting beds to whoever he can.” The rentals help supplement the cost of operating the facility, he said.
“We haven’t seen the contract yet, but are looking forward to seeing it,” O’Brien said.
Duchak said the arrangement for housing federal prisoners would be like the previous agreement.
Miami County also has a jail at the county Safety Building in Troy, where up to 48 prisoners can be held. That space is used for primarily for violent offenders, while nonviolent offenders are housed at the Incarceration Facility. The federal prisoners would be nonviolent people facing charges for financial and other crimes, Duchak said.
Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 5:22 PM
Updated: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 6:06 PM
DAYTON — One candidate for judge won’t make the May 8 primary ballot in Montgomery County after the board of elections on Tuesday certified nominating petitions submitted by candidates.
Democrat Alan D. Gabel of Dayton submitted nominating petitions with the wrong commencement date for the Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge-General Division position he sought, said Steve Harsman, deputy director of the board.
Failing to put the correct date on the petition is considered a “fatal error” because each common pleas judge position has a specific start date and the correct one must be listed on nominating petitions signed by registered voters, Harsman said..
That means there will be no primary race for the remaining Democrat, Montgomery County Juvenile Court Magistrate Gerald Parker of Centerville, who will face Judge Erik R. Blaine, a Republican, in the November 6 General Election.
Gabel said on Friday that he will fight the decision, first by asking the local board to reconsider and then by appealing in court. He said it was clear which judgeship he was running for and that his petitions should have been accepted even though they had the wrong date.
All other candidates were certified except some seeking political party state central committee spots.
County voters will see contested primary races for U.S. Congress and the Ohio House.
Boards of election in Ohio must certify petitions for the May primary election by Feb. 19.
Other stories by Lynn Hulsey
Published: Friday, February 16, 2018 @ 11:04 AM
SPRINGBORO — The Springboro City Council authorized the city manager to pay $190,000 for 5.8 acres of residential property on Lytle-Five Points Road and shift $200,000 in city funds to pay for the land.
The votes during Thursday’s council meeting came on two legislative items added to the agenda and approved on first readings.
Supporters say the new park would help serve residents in an area where most of the city’s growth has happened.
The land is at 525 W. Lytle-Five Points Road, at the southwest corner of Lytle-Five Points and Crosley Road, in Clearcreek Twp.
City Manager Chris Pozzuto said the seller was Gary Gibson. Property tax records indicate the owners, Gibson and his wife, live nearby on Crosley Road.
The land is valued at $76,270 by the Warren County Auditor’s Office. A home on the property has been removed and a sign indicated it was still up for sale on Friday.
During Thursday’s council work session before the formal meeting, Councilwoman Janie Ridd asked what would happen if the Clearcreek Twp. Board of Trustees decided not to collaborate with the city on the park.
“We have a lot of options,” Pozzuto said, including leaving the land as green space or reselling it.
Previous discussion of the land purchase was in executive session.
On Thursday, the council adjourned into another executive session before returning to approve the purchase during an open meeting.
“While the city has over 400 acres of park land / public open space, most of it lies in the west and southwest parts of the city. There aren’t any public parks in the northeast area of the city, where most of the residential growth has been over the past 10-15 years,” Pozzuto said in a email this morning.
Before the votes, Pozzuto indicated the land could be developed as a park or left as green space.
With Councilman Jim Chmiel absent, the vote on each item was 6-0.
“This will allow the city to develop a park close to many of the newer neighborhoods that have been developed recently. The hope is to create a passive park that would contain open space, picnic shelter(s), playground(s), a small paved walking trail, etc.,” Pozzuto added Friday.
The city’s North Park is 2.4 miles away, across Ohio 741, Main Street in Springboro.
The property sale price is $190,000, with $10,000 for a title search and other work done in anticipation of the sale, according to Pozzuto.