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Published: Wednesday, 11/1/2000

Lt. governor's son faces drug charge


ATHENS, O - A son of Ohio Lt. Gov. Maureen O'Connor is due in court next week to face a felony cocaine possession charge.

Alex J. Kipp, 21, of Akron, faces a maximum prison sentence of 12 months and a $2,500 fine, but his attorney said yesterday he is unlikely to do jail time for a fifth-degree felony, if convicted.

According to Athens city police, a baggy containing 0.7 of a gram of cocaine was found in Mr. Kipp's car Friday night when he was pulled over for running a stoplight.

A search dog found marijuana buds in an ashtray, as well as a marijuana pipe under the driver's seat, police said. No charges were filed in relation to those.

“I love and support my son,” Ms. O'Connor said. “We will work this through together as a family.”

Ms. O'Connor is a former Summit County prosecutor and judge. As lieutenant governor, she is director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety and Governor Taft's chief policy adviser on criminal justice issues.

According to police, Mr. Kipp was pulled over at 10:35 p.m. for allegedly running the traffic signal. A police dog routinely used in such stops reportedly sniffed out the drugs.

A preliminary hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in Athens Municipal Court. Mr. Kipp was released on his own recognizance after making his first court appearance Monday.

Last weekend was Athens's big Halloween celebration, but neither the court nor Mr. Kipp's attorney, Tom Hodson, knew if that was why he was in the city. He is not a student at Ohio University here.

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