Ohio News Briefs

Ex-School official pleads guilty to sexual misconduct

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A former Ohio school superintendent and school board member has pleaded guilty to a sexual conduct charge in Michigan involving a former student from decades ago.

Patrick Hickey pleaded guilty Wednesday in Michigan’s Lenawee County and faces up to two years in prison.

His plea deal required him to acknowledge in court to groping a 15-year-old girl and to register as a sex offender.

Hickey resigned in March from the Washington Local Schools board in Toledo after being charged.

A police report from 2016 says a woman told investigators she had sex with Hickey during the late 1980s when she was 14 and he was a teacher in Addison, Michigan.

Authorities say she didn’t want to pursue charges, but they reopened the investigation after she changed her mind.

Voters across Ohio approve 68 percent of school levies

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio voters have approved more than two-thirds of school levies on Tuesday’s primary election ballot.

The Ohio School Boards Association said Ohioans passed 63 of 92 school issues, or 68 percent.

The passage rate was down from last year’s primary election when 73 percent of issues were approved.

Half of the new school tax issues were passed this time, compared with 52 percent in last year’s May primary. Voters passed 40 of the 46 renewal issues, slightly down from a year ago.

The School Boards Association’s Jennifer Hogue said she’s concerned that the passage rate for additional funding issues was much lower than renewals, which means some districts won’t be able to meet their students’ needs.

Police investigate hidden camera inside hospital restroom

MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — A hidden camera has been found inside an employee-only restroom at a northeast Ohio hospital.

WOIO-TV reports a staff member at Cleveland Clinic Medina Hospital found the camera disguised as a wall charger April 14.

Police say it’s unclear how long the miniature spy camera was inside the bathroom.

Authorities have identified a suspect whose identity hasn’t been released. No charges have been filed.

Clinic officials say an employee was placed on administrative leave following the camera’s discovery.

Auditor: Companies should repay $250K spent for e-school ads

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state auditor has concluded private companies should repay $250,000 in taxpayer money that Ohio’s largest online charter school used for television ads attacking a state effort to recoup funding from the e-school.

The Columbus Dispatch reports it obtained a draft finding for recovery in which Auditor Dave Yost says the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow improperly used public money for political ads and tried to hide the funding’s source using companies run by ECOT’s founder and his daughter.

Yost last year ordered ECOT to stop spending taxpayer dollars on ads attacking the Department of Education, calling it “impermissible.” ECOT has since closed but previously defended that approach to fighting for public funding amid a legal dispute with the state.

Yost plans to release his latest audit of ECOT on Thursday.

Ohio officer quits amid probe of him kicking handcuffed man

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A suburban Columbus police officer under investigation for kicking a handcuffed suspect in the head has resigned.

The Columbus Dispatch reports an attorney for Franklin Township police officer Robert Wells says Wells’ resigned effective Sunday.

Wells, a part-time Franklin Township officer, was placed on leave after a cellphone video surfaced from a May 1 vehicle pursuit that shows him kicking an 18-year-old man in the head.

Franklin Township Trustee Aryeh Alex says an internal investigation of the 48-year-old Wells is continuing.

Wells is a fulltime investigations supervisor for the Ohio Lottery Commission. He was convicted of assault and fired as a police officer in the central Ohio city of Pataskala in 2002 after he and another officer were seen in a cellphone video kicking an 18-year-old man during an arrest.

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