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Published: 12/28/2006

Fostoria police sergeant indicted over use of computer in 2001-02

BY JIM SIELICKI
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A veteran police sergeant has become the second member of the Fostoria Police Department to be indicted this year following charges that he misused a law-enforcement computer.

A Seneca County grand jury indicted Sgt. Scott Miller last week on a felony charge of misusing the police department's computer and three misdemeanors for alleged dereliction of duty.

Sergeant Miller has been placed on paid leave, city officials said yesterday.

The felony charge carries a possible sentence of a year in prison and a $2,500 fine. No arraignment date has been set.

Chief John McGuire, who took office in February, said the alleged offenses occurred in 2001 and 2002.

The police chief said he asked the state's Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in April to look into issues raised "by an outside source" that led to the indictment.

Chief McGuire declined to elaborate beyond saying it involved "an allegation of wrongdoing by a law enforcement officer in Seneca County."

The investigation was turned over to the county prosecutor's office, which took the charges to the grand jury, he said. Prosecutor Ken Egbert, Jr., could not be reached for comment.

Chief McGuire said he placed Sergeant Miller on leave until an internal investigation is completed. The sergeant, who could not be reached for comment, has been with the department for nine or 10 years, he said.

Mayor John Davoli said he concurred with the chief's decision to place Sergeant Miller on leave and praised his efforts "to get the department up and going and clean things up, so to speak."

"They are serious allegations," the mayor said.

Mayor Davoli hired Chief McGuire primarily because he was an outsider who did not have allegiances to members of the department.

Chief McGuire, 37, replaced Phil Hobbs, who led the department following the dismissal of Chief Dennis Day in 2004.

Chief McGuire, who was on the police force of the Cleveland school district, came under fire over his credentials.

He was indicted by a Seneca County grand jury for allegedly falsifying his resume and job application. His trial is scheduled for March 26.

Chief Day was fired in August, 2004, following accusations that he left town while on duty to visit an ex-girlfriend in Florida, among other allegations of misconduct.

The police department was also rocked by the resignation of a detective in August, 2005, after allegations that he interfered with a friend's drunken-driving case, and in 2003 by a sergeant convicted for stalking and threatening his estranged wife.

Contact Jim Sielicki at:

jsielicki@theblade.com

or 419-724-6078.



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