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Published: Saturday, 12/21/2013 - Updated: 1 year ago

Ex-records clerk placed in diversion program

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A former records clerk for the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office who was charged with unauthorized use of the Law Enforcement Automated Database System was placed in a diversion program Friday after admitting to the offense.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Michael Goulding granted a motion by Rebecca Szmania, 56, of 2225 Farm View Ct. to be placed in the diversion program, which will involve performing community service, paying court costs and a $300 diversion fee, and other requirements.

She declined to make a statement when given an opportunity to speak by the court.

If Ms. Szmania successfully completes the program and has no new offenses, the fifth-degree felony charge would be dismissed by the court, and the record could be sealed.

Robert Miller, chief of the special units division for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, said Ms. Szmania is not getting special treatment but qualifies for the diversion program because she had no prior criminal history and because the offense was a nonviolent, low-level felony.

Still, he said, it was appropriate to take the case to grand jury and indict her.

Ms. Szmania worked for the sheriff’s office from 2001 until her termination earlier this year for running the names of co-workers or their relatives through the criminal database. Sheriff John Tharp said she did not appear to have benefited in any way from the infraction, which is a criminal offense because it jeopardizes an individual’s personal information.

According to the sheriff’s internal-affairs unit, Ms. Szmania was given a written warning in 2002 for the same offense and then suspended for 30 days without pay in 2011 for running the names of fellow employees in LEADS. She was fired for the most recent infraction Sept. 21.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.


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