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Standing before a judge Wednesday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, local businessman Bruce Rumpf agreed to follow the conditions of a diversion program that, when completed, will free him of a criminal charge.
Rumpf, 61, was indicted in April on one count each of burglary and theft for allegedly entering a competitor's business and taking property. Judge Gene Zmuda granted the motion to accept him into the county pretrial diversion program, which will monitor him for one year.
Calling the allegations a "business dispute," Rumpf acknowledged after his court appearance that in hindsight, he should have acted differently.
"Let's just say, I've learned my lesson," said Rumpf, president and chief executive officer of Job1USA Inc., an employment firm. "It could have been handled differently."
According to a statement signed by Rumpf and filed with the court as part of his request for diversion, the longtime businessman acknowledged he had entered a competitor's place of business Jan. 6 "in an attempt to verify whether a former employee was in fact at work at that location in a business competing with mine."
The document went on to say that Rumpf did not have "any particular course of action in mind," but that he inadvertently saw correspondence that was addressed to the former employee. "I took that correspondence and several other documents, which were not my property, in an effort to obtain evidence that might serve as evidence," the statement said. "I was not authorized to take the documents and realize now that what I did was unlawful conduct."
According to a Toledo police report of the incident, Rumpf took payroll checks from Progressive Healthcare Services, a home health-care business at 4841 Monroe St., Suite 200, in the Franklin Park area.
The report stated that video surveillance showed a man entering the office just before 1 p.m. when the front area was empty.
The man picked up a stack of checks, looked at them, put them into his coat pocket, and then left, the report stated. Also taken was a payroll report.
Authorities said the checks, which totaled about $5,000, were never cashed.
Attorney Rick Kerger said the property was returned. He noted that although the court had ordered restitution, it was for expenses incurred by the victim as a result of canceling and replacing the checks as well as downloading video surveillance.
"This is a business dispute that should have been handled better," Mr. Kerger said. "… He took things he shouldn't have, and for that, he's sorry."
Judge Zmuda noted that Rumpf qualified for the program because of his lack of any criminal record. Per the agreement, the burglary charge will be dismissed.
As a participant in the one-year diversion program, Rumpf must complete classes, remain law-abiding, perform 50 hours of community service, and pay $1,688 in restitution.
If he completes the program successfully, the felony charge will be expunged. If he fails to complete the program, he will face the criminal charge.
Ahmed Mohamed, the owner of Progressive Healthcare Services Inc., did not attend the court hearing.
Job1USA Inc., was founded by Rumpf's father in 1951 under the name Rumpf Corp. Rumpf joined his father in business in 1975 and purchased the company in 1982, according to the company's Web site.
Records on file with the Ohio Secretary of State's Office indicate Rumpf has registered seven businesses in Ohio, all of which are active. One of the businesses is a medical division of Job1USA Inc.
Contact Erica Blake at: email@example.com or 419-213-2134.