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Published: Thursday, 3/1/2007

Ex-deputy dog warden pleads guilty in theft case


TIFFIN A former deputy dog warden for Seneca County has pleaded guilty to theft in office for deceiving a dog owner about picking up his pet then illegally euthanizing the dog.

William A. O Conner, 41, of Tiffin pleaded guilty last week in Common Pleas Court to the fifth-degree felony. Seneca County Prosecutor Ken Egbert, Jr., said O Connor picked up and euthanized a dog named Rocco belonging to Vincent Fries last March 2. He then disposed of the dog at the county dog pound.

Mr. Egbert said O Conner initially told Mr. Fries the dog warden s office never picked up his dog, then later claimed the dog ran away from the kennel. Mr. Fries, he said, went to the dog pound and found his deceased dog in a compost container.

O Conner, who paid $500 restitution to Mr. Fries, and former dog warden Lonnie Jaynes were fired after the incident. Mr. Jaynes also has been charged with theft in office. His case is pending.

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