Ohio News Briefs


Appeals court upholds ex-Ohio sheriff corruption conviction

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former Ohio sheriff imprisoned for public corruption.

Ex-Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly was accused of pocketing cash by selling county vehicles to a salvage yard and spending public money on clothes and meals. He was sentenced to seven years in prison.

His attorney argued there was insufficient evidence to convict Kelly on several charges, including theft and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Defense attorney Scott Wood also questioned instructions to the jury and alleged the court wrongly found Kelly guilty of contempt.

The Fourth Ohio District Court of Appeals rejected those arguments in a unanimous ruling last week, saying there was sufficient evidence to support the convictions.

Ohio Turnpike reducing construction in 2017 amid complaints

BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Transportation officials say they’re going to reduce construction on the Ohio Turnpike in 2017.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission passed the 2017 capital budget in December.

The budget calls for spending more than $121 million on work including pavement reconstruction, resurfacing and bridge projects on the 241-mile toll road that stretches across northern Ohio. That’s down from nearly $146 million in the 2016 budget.

Plans include rebuilding pavement, repairing and resurfacing some ramps at a northeast Ohio toll plaza at Interstate 77.

The Ohio Turnpike estimates there will be 25 percent fewer lane miles under construction.

The agency says it has received complaints about the number and length of some work zones.

Ohio city’s fire chief on leave after OVI arrest

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (AP) — A southwest Ohio fire chief is on administrative leave pending investigation of charges that he operated a vehicle under the influence.

Middletown Fire Chief Paul Lolli was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol during early morning hours Dec. 16 and charged with OVI and speeding.

City Law Director Les Landen tells the Hamilton-Middletown News-Journal that the city hopes to complete an internal investigation soon. He said the 55-year-old chief has cooperated during the investigation.

He has a pretrial hearing scheduled in Middletown Municipal Court on Jan. 24. Landen said an outside prosecutor will handle the case.

Landen said Lolli, hired as chief last year, has had no prior disciplinary issues.

A message was left Thursday for Lolli’s attorney.

Ohio county employees sue after 2015 sickness

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Seven Lucas County employees who became sick after exposure to a rare form of Legionnaires’ bacteria have filed a lawsuit.

The Blade newspaper reports that the lawsuit seeks damages from the county board of commissioners and multiple other defendants.

The newspaper reports six of the seven are still employed by county Job and Family Services while the other has retired.

Some 15 employees became sick last year, with 11 getting hospital treatment for respiratory illnesses linked to their building’s cooling system that circulates water through pipes.

Attorney Daniel Abraham says some of the plaintiffs have ongoing problems from the exposure.

Dennis Lyle, an assistant county prosecutor, declined comment on the lawsuit, but said he believed the problems were corrected and that there were no pending concerns.

Cops: Man sucker punched, stabbed in neck during $40 robbery

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Police say an Ohio man was sucker punched, kicked and stabbed in the neck during a robbery in the first minutes of 2017.

WHIO-TV reports (police say three males approached the man early Sunday in Dayton and asked to use his cellphone.

They say one of the assailants punched the 51-year-old Trotwood man when he handed over his phone, causing him to fall to the ground.

Police say he was then stabbed with a box cutter and repeatedly kicked. They say the attackers also stole $40.

WHIO-TV says the man was taken to a hospital and is expected to live.