After watching his pension checks being diverted to Toledo Public Schools to pay off the money he stole, Dan Burns now wants his co-defendant to share the financial burden.
The former TPS business manager has filed a lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against John Briggle, a co-defendant and conspirator in his criminal theft case. The complaint claims that while Burns has "substantially satisfied" the civil judgment of almost $660,000 awarded to the district, Briggle "has paid nothing."
Burns was sentenced in January, 2011, to 10 years in prison after he entered an Alford plea to one count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, theft in office, and tampering with records. He was convicted for his role in a scheme that defrauded the school district hundreds of thousands of dollars between 2002 and 2006.
As part of his criminal sentence, Burns was ordered to pay $658,428 in restitution, to be divided among the two insurance companies that reimbursed the school district and the district itself. The district's share was $52,429 for the money it had not been able to recoup.
While the criminal proceeding was pending, the school district also initiated civil action against the men requesting actual and compensatory damages as well as the costs associated with the special audit and attorneys' fees. On July 7, 2011, the court granted the school's motion and thereby awarded the school a judgment.
It is this order that Burns said both he and Briggle are jointly responsible for, but for which only he has paid. The case was assigned to Judge Gene Zmuda.
The men were each convicted of crimes in association with orchestrating a scheme in which Briggle's printing company, Superior Offset Supplies, billed the school district for thousands of dollars' worth of supplies and services that were not delivered.
The two men continued the fraud in Cleveland, where irregularities in billing alerted school officials and ultimately led to an investigation and criminal prosecution.
Both Burns and Briggle are serving prison sentences for the thefts at TPS and Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Briggle is also serving time for defrauding Toledo Hospital using a similar scheme.
Burns, who lists his address on the lawsuit as the Marion Correctional Institution, sent the lawsuit to the Richland Correctional Institution, where Briggle, who was sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, is confined.