Ohio News Briefs

O’Neill readies letter resigning from Ohio Supreme Court

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill says he’s staying in the Democratic gubernatorial primary race and has decided when he’s leaving the high court.

O’Neill tells The Associated Press on Thursday he’ll specify that date in a resignation letter he plans to submit to Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor on Friday. The date must precede the Feb. 7 candidate-filing deadline.

O’Neill’s statement about his candidacy comes amid efforts by the Republican-controlled Legislature to oust him from the court.

Lawmakers say O’Neill is violating the Judicial Code of Conduct by running for another office while remaining on the bench. O’Neill argues he won’t be a candidate for purposes of the rule until he files the paperwork.

O’Neill says he’s resolved 47 of the 99 outstanding cases he hoped to complete before resigning.

Report: Ohio IT administrator wrongly solicited sponsor fee

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The state watchdog says an Ohio technology administrator wrongly solicited a $37,000 sponsorship fee from a company that has received millions of dollars in state contracts.

The Ohio Inspector General says Stuart Davis, the Department of Administrative Services chief information officer, requested the money from CGI Technologies and Solutions for a 2013 corporate event in Cincinnati.

An Inspector General’s report released Thursday says Davis had signed and approved state contracts with the company.

The report says Davis denied to investigators that he solicited the sponsorship fee.

A spokesman says the Administrative Services Department respects the watchdog’s role and is reviewing the report carefully. A message seeking comment was left with Davis.

The Inspector General is forwarding the report to Columbus and Franklin County prosecutors and to the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Agents conduct after-hours search at Cleveland City Hall

CLEVELAND (AP) — Agents from the FBI, IRS and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have conducted an after-hours search at Cleveland City Hall.

Spokespeople for the FBI and IRS have confirmed that agents went to City Hall after the building closed Wednesday night as part of a criminal investigation but wouldn’t provide details about what agents were looking for at the building.

A Cleveland spokesman said in a statement Thursday that the search was part of an “ongoing investigation” and that the city is cooperating with federal authorities. He declined to say what the investigation concerns.

Cleveland.com has reported that agents were in the building until after 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Police: Officers shoot 2 suspects in exchange of gunfire

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Police say officers shot and injured two suspects in northern Ohio after one fired at police and another pointed a gun at them.

None of the officers were hit in the exchange of gunfire.

Police in Toledo say the shooting happened Wednesday night at a carryout while officers were doing surveillance work related to recent gun violence.

Police say one suspect fired at police and then ran away while another ran and pointed a gun at an officer.

The say officers shot both Richard Morris Jr. and Jayvon Wynne. Their injuries are not life threatening. Both have been charged with felonious assault.

Court records don’t say whether either man has an attorney.

Change of plea hearing for Ohio man suspected of war crimes

CLEVELAND (AP) — A change of plea hearing is scheduled for an Ohio man accused of hiding the fact that he had been in a special police unit in Bosnia and took part in the Serb massacre of more than 8,000 Muslim Bosnians during the 1995 genocide.

The U.S. government accused Oliver Dragic of immigration fraud in a three-count federal indictment last year.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster scheduled the plea hearing for Thursday afternoon. A change of plea hearing is typically held when a defendant plans to plead guilty.

Darin Thompson, Dragic’s public defender, has declined to comment.

Prosecutors say Dragic, of Barberton in suburban Akron, made false statements on forms about his role in ethnic cleansing in Bosnia while applying for refugee status in the U.S.

Ohio grand jury indicts 2 parents in unrelated child deaths

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A grand jury in Columbus has indicted a mother and a father in unrelated child deaths.

The Dispatch reports a Franklin County grand jury on Tuesday indicted 26-year-old Steven Wallen on involuntary manslaughter and child endangering charges for the accidental shooting death of his 3-year-old son in September in Madison Township.

Authorities say the 3-year-old died after he and his twin brother found a handgun while Wallen slept.

Twenty-four-year-old Nina Straty, of Columbus, was indicted on the same charges for the overdose death of her newborn daughter in April.

Authorities say the infant, who was less than a month old, died from “acute” methadone and cocaine intoxication. Straty told police she found the infant unconscious after they fell asleep together.

Court records don’t indicate whether Wallen or Straty have attorneys.

Woman, 10-year-old arrested for package theft

MENTOR, Ohio (AP) — A woman and a 10-year-old boy have been arrested for stealing $1,200 worth of merchandise in packages taken from homes in Ohio.

Police say the duo was arrested Tuesday after someone witnessed the boy taking a package off a porch in Mentor and getting into a car. Officers stopped the car and found 21 packages inside, including marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Authorities say the shipping labels on the packages showed items were taken from other homes in the area.

The 18-year-old woman is facing multiple charges including theft, marijuana possession and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The boy has been referred to juvenile court.