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Published: Friday, 12/7/2012

TPS special ed teacher faces child pornography charges

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo Public Schools special education teacher, who was placed on leave in April, has been charged in a three-count indictment in U.S. District Court in Toledo with crimes related to child pornography.

Bruce Omlor, 49, was charged Wednesday with one count each of receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography. According to the indictment, the charges relate to conduct that occurred between June, 2009, and April, 2012.

Mr. Omlor was hired in August, 2000, and assigned to Riverside Elementary School as a special education teacher who worked with children with learning disabilities. According to school officials, he was placed on paid administrative leave April 25 after the district was contacted by federal authorities.

Cheryl Spieldenner, TPS chief human resources officer, said that the district was not informed of any specific allegations, only that federal officers wanted to have access to Mr. Omlor’s work computer. That was the day the teacher was placed on leave, she said.

“There was no inappropriate behavior found on the computer and it was returned to us,” Ms. Spieldenner said.

She added that after placing Mr. Omlor on leave, the district checked to see if there were “any other complaints or issues levied at the school.” She added that no complaints had been filed and that Mr. Omlor’s personnel record indicated no serious problems.

According to a news release issued Thursday, the case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations in Cleveland. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Crawford, who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the investigation or the charges.

No court dates have yet been set in the case. Each charge carries a maximum of up to 30 years in prison.

Attorney John Potts, who is representing Mr. Omlor, declined comment on behalf of his client.

“The activities that resulted in the indictment are alleged to have occurred on his personal computer in the privacy of his own home,” Mr. Potts said.

He declined further comment.

Ms. Spieldenner said that as of Thursday, Mr. Omlor remains on paid administrative leave.

However, the district is waiting to receive a copy of the indictment before considering additional disciplinary action, including possible termination.

Mr. Omlor worked with students throughout the kindergarten-through-eighth grade elementary school. Ms. Spieldenner said that a paraprofessional was also working in the room with Mr. Omlor throughout his time at the district, so another adult was usually present.

Contact Erica Blake at: eblake@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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