Ohio News Briefs

Ex-Ohio library worker receives probation for stealing DVDs

CLEVELAND (AP) — A fired county library delivery driver in Ohio has received probation for what prosecutors say was the theft of thousands of DVDs and CDs over a 12-year period.

Cleveland.com reports 43-year-old Kelvin Shaw, of Parma, was sentenced Tuesday in Cleveland after pleading guilty in July to theft in office.

Prosecutors say Shaw took advantage of a Cuyahoga County Public Library rule that allowed employees to take home DVDs without checking them out. Shaw took home library materials but never returned them.

Investigators eventually placed a tracking device in a copy of the movie “Inferno” and then followed him to his apartment, where they found nearly 4,000 of the library’s DVDs and CDs.

Shaw apologized in court, callings his actions “stupid, lazy and dumb.”

Retired police officer steps off with college marching band

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — A retired police officer with multiple college degrees has re-enrolled as a freshman at the University of Toledo for the opportunity to step off with the school’s marching band.

WNWO-TV reports 59-year-old grandmother Virginia Todd took to the field with her clarinet Thursday night for Toledo’s football season opener.

Todd spent 21 years with the Oregon Police Department outside of Toledo and is now an attorney, a coroner’s office death investigator and a full-fledged member of the Rocket Marching Band.

She says her young band mates accepted her with open arms and have helped her out as she re-learned her marching band skills after training for three months and attending a nine-day band camp.

Todd says Toledo created a special program that allowed her to re-enroll as a freshman.

Driver accused of slapping man through school bus window

SHEFFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Police in Ohio say an 82-year-old school bus driver is facing an assault charge for reaching out the bus window and slapping a man.

Sheffield Village police say the man had approached the bus to complain that its flashing lights were not on as students were being dropped off. Police say the driver first made a vulgar gesture and cursed at the man, then slapped him when he came closer.

The superintendent of Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools tells The Morning Journal the driver was immediately relieved of his duties as the district investigates. He said the man who was slapped had previously complained about the driver not using his flashing lights.

The driver is due in court on Sept. 6.

Police review board clears officers in man’s fatal shooting

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A police review into officers’ actions in the fatal shooting of an armed suspect in Ohio last year has found their actions were justified.

Columbus police said 23-year-old Marese Collins died from multiple gunshot wounds Feb. 7, 2016, after refusing officers’ commands to drop his gun. Police said in a statement Thursday that a review board has ruled the five officers involved didn’t violate the division’s firearm-use policy.

Police said officers responded to a report of a man threatening people with a gun and were told he had fled in an SUV, which a police cruiser followed until the driver fled on foot.

Police say officers converged on the man and witnesses heard police order him to drop his weapon. Officers say Collins ignored their commands and was fatally shot.

Cop accused of forcing women into sex acts pleads not guilty

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man accused of abusing his authority as a police officer to force or pressure women into sex acts has pleaded not guilty to rape, kidnapping, interfering with civil rights and other charges.

Justin Sanderson’s attorney entered the not guilty pleas on Sanderson’s behalf at a hearing Thursday. Bond was set at $1 million. Sanderson, of the Dayton suburb of Huber Heights, resigned from the Phillipsburg police after being arrested last month.

Montgomery County’s prosecutor says two women allege Sanderson separately took them into custody and forced them into sex acts at the police station. The prosecutor says two more women allege Sanderson told them he was investigating prostitution and engaged in sex with them. The women told authorities they felt compelled to cooperate because he was an officer.

Patrol focusing on impaired driving over holiday weekend

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The State Highway Patrol says it is focusing on impaired driving on Ohio’s roadways over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

A patrol statement says enforcement efforts will focus especially on removing drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs from the state’s roads in the reporting period running from 12 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Monday.

The patrol says 15 people died in 15 fatal crashes in Ohio during the 2016 Labor Day holiday weekend. Four of those fatalities related to operating a vehicle under the influence. The patrol also made 749 OVI arrests that weekend.

Auto club AAA says an estimated 85 percent of all travelers drive to their destinations in celebration of Labor Day. Drivers are encouraged to dial 6-7-7 to report impaired drivers and drug activity to the patrol.

Officials: Police chief resigned after using racial slur

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio police chief was forced to resign in part because of his use of a racial slur in a private conversation, officials said Thursday.

Akron officials had previously announced that former Chief James Nice was accused of potential misconduct involving an investigation into his nephew, having a sexual relationship with a member of the police force and making “derogatory remarks.” He resigned Sunday.

The city’s mayor and its provisional police chief told the Akron Beacon Journal on Thursday the ex-chief, who is white, used a slur against African-Americans. They said no other officers were involved in the conversation.

“The standard is clear in our department,” provisional Chief Ken Ball said. “The top guy in our department couldn’t say this and get away with it.”

Nice’s attorney would not confirm a slur was used.

“I’m not certain if he used those words or not,” the lawyer said. “If he did, he certainly regrets it.”

Mayor Dan Horrigan said Nice’s behavior doesn’t reflect the values of the police force.

“One man is not the department,” he said.

A special prosecutor from neighboring Cuyahoga County has taken over the investigation involving Nice and his nephew.