Commissioner pleads not guilty in Henry County

10/19/2012
BLADE STAFF

NAPOLEON — Henry County Commissioner Richard Myers pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge of having an unlawful interest in a contract.

Henry County Common Pleas Judge John Collier allowed Mr. Myers to remain free on his own recognizance. Judge Collier then recused himself from the case, and Putnam County Common Pleas Judge Randall Basinger was appointed in his place.

Mr. Myers, 63, of Liberty Center is accused of loaning $25,000 of his own money to a specialty-car company that looked to move to Henry County from Decatur, Ind. in 2009. Prosecutors charge Mr. Myers convinced his fellow commissioners to award a $300,000 grant to the company but didn’t tell them of his investment. The company never relocated to Henry County, and the county did not recoup its $300,000.

A pretrial hearing in the case has been set for Nov. 8 — two days after the general election. Mr. Myers, a Democrat, is seeking re-election against Republican Glenn Miller of Napoleon.