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Published: Friday, 3/18/2005

Jail sentence depends on medical data

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Bergsmark Bergsmark
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The judge who will decide whether Edwin Bergsmark spends 60 days in a regional jail or at home on electronic monitoring wants additional medical information on the convicted local businessman's health problems.

Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Frederick McDonald yesterday ordered Jerome Phillips, the attorney for Bergsmark, to file a memorandum to update the court on the medical issues of the former president and chief executive officer of the defunct Cavista Corp.

Bergsmark, whose convictions on a forgery charge and 12 counts of passing bad checks were upheld Wednesday by the Ohio Supreme Court, is attempting to modify the sentence that he received in April, 2003, for the crimes.

Judge McDonald ordered that Bergsmark, 63, serve the jail time at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio at Stryker, but he stayed the sentence while the former real estate mogul and businessman appealed the convictions.

In November, Mr. Phillips filed a motion with the court to modify the sentence to allow Bergsmark, who suffers from heart problems and complications from diabetes, to serve the sentence at his Sylvania Township home on electronic monitoring.

The motion included a letter from the defendant's family physician, Dr. Thomas P. Cox, who compiled a list of the health problems.

Dr. Cox expressed concerns about the regional jail's ability to provide care for some of the diabetes complications.

A supplemental memorandum was filed with the court last month in which Dr. John Pigott, a vascular surgeon, provided information about an operation in December to reinsert a stent into Bergsmark's right leg.

Dr. Pigott said Bergsmark has little feeling in his feet, and the unsteadiness puts him at risk for falling.

At yesterday's hearing, Judge McDonald asked Mr. Phillips to provide an updated report from the doctors on Bergsmark's health, and to file it with the court before March 24.

Bergsmark, who has used a walker at previous proceedings, was not in court for the hearing.

J. Christopher Anderson, an assistant prosecutor, said he was opposed to modifying the original sentence, and would file a motion in support of the opposition before the next hearing on April 5.

Bergsmark was found guilty on March 19, 2003, of writing bad commission checks to real estate agents of Cavalear Realty Co., a subsidiary of Cavista Corp.

In addition, Bergsmark was convicted of forgery for drawing up a dummy lease for an apartment that allowed a Toledo housing commissioner to meet a city residency requirement.

Bergsmark also was placed on community control for five years and ordered to pay restitution of $38,667 for the 12 checks that bounced in December, 2001.

Judge McDonald did not address the imposition of that portion of Bergsmark's sentence during the hearing yesterday.

Contact Mark Reiter at:

markreiter@theblade.com

or 419-213-2134.



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