Ex-jail officer guilty of taking inmate tobacco


A former corrections officer at the Lucas County jail faces up to 180 days in jail after she admitted taking tobacco to an inmate on at least two occasions.

Michelle Vining, 33, of 3646 Drummond Rd. pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor. As part of a plea deal, the court is expected to dismiss felony counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, trafficking in marijuana, and illegal conveyance of drugs of abuse onto the grounds of a specified government facility.

Ms. Vining told Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gene Zmuda that she had been employed at the jail for 10 years and knew she was violating the rules by taking the contraband into the jail to inmate Jesse Perez, who she said she had been seeing before he was jailed on an unrelated robbery charge.

While she admitted to taking tobacco into the jail twice between Jan. 1 and July 19, it was on July 20 that she was arrested after receiving a package containing tobacco, pills, and marijuana from Salina Perez and taking it with her to work to give to Jesse Perez.

She told the judge she had the package in her personal vehicle but did not take it inside.

“I was asked to, but I never took it in,” Ms. Vining said.

She resigned after her arrest and agreed to forfeit her sport utility vehicle that was used in the commission of the crimes.

Judge Zmuda set sentencing for Wednesday — the same for Salina Perez, 29, of 135 Milford St. is scheduled to enter a plea in her case. Like Ms. Vining, she and Jesse Perez, 33, of 1003 Mott St. were indicted for aggravated trafficking in drugs, trafficking in marijuana, and illegal conveyance of drugs. Jesse Perez posted bond then failed to appear in court Oct. 16. A warrant was issued for his arrest.