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Published: Friday, 4/8/2005

Health exam to determine if Bergsmark can go to jail

A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge yesterday ordered Edwin Bergsmark to undergo medical examinations to determine whether the convicted local businessman is healthy enough to serve a 60-day jail sentence.

Bergsmark, 63, who is ailing with heart problems and complications from diabetes, has asked the court to modify the sentence he received nearly two years ago. He was convicted on a forgery charge and 12 counts of passing bad checks.

Instead of serving the time at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, the former president and chief executive officer of the defunct Cavista Corp. wants to be placed on electronic monitoring.

However, Judge Frederick McDonald said the sentence will not be changed to a less restrictive environment. He said Bergsmark will serve the sentence in CCNO or the Lucas County jail, if not now, then eventually when doctors feel jail confinement would not pose a risk to his health.

"I am determined he will serve that 60 days in jail," Judge McDonald said.

Bergsmark of Sylvania Township was not present for the hearing on his motion to modify the sentence.

Physicians who are under contract to CCNO and the county jail will examine Bergsmark. Judge McDonald said Bergsmark will provide the doctors with all medical records concerning his health.

The examinations will be conducted by Dr. Frederick Ho-A-Lim, who provides care for inmates at the county jail, and Dr. Joseph Kraska, of Continental, Ohio, who works for the regional jail.

Judge McDonald said that if the doctors determine that the facilities cannot provide appropriate care for Bergsmark, then he must undergo periodic evaluations.

Judge McDonald said he didn't want the defendant placed in a lock-up facility and sent to a hospital because the jail didn't have the facilities to treat him, a situation that the judge said would cause the county to pay for Bergsmark's hospitalization and around-the-clock security.

Bergsmark's sentence was stayed while he appealed the March, 2003, convictions. The Ohio Supreme Court last month rejected his request to review the case.

Judge McDonald found Bergsmark guilty of writing bad commission checks to real estate agents of Cavalear Realty Co., a subsidiary of Cavista Corp.

He also 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.

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