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Published: Friday, 2/15/2008

McConnell Hancock cases to be reviewed

McConnell Hancock McConnell Hancock

The cases involving Lucas County Probate Court clients who Karyn McConnell Hancock once represented will be investigated by a local attorney for any indications of theft.

Attorney Jim Caruso was sworn in yesterday as a special master commissioner to review several cases flagged by the county prosecutor's office, which is investigating complaints of theft against Ms. McConnell Hancock.

Mr. Caruso's role will be to determine if there was any money lost in the estates, how much was lost, and whether there is a way to recover the funds.

Judge Jack Puffenberger, who administered the oath to Mr. Caruso, asked that the investigation be done "without unnecessary delay."

Ms. McConnell Hancock sent a letter to the Ohio Supreme Court resigning as an attorney after she was found guilty last month of a misdemeanor charge of making false alarms.

The charge evolved from her admission that she fabricated a story of being kidnapped from downtown Toledo and being dumped in Georgia.

On the same day she appeared in Toledo Municipal Court on the misdemeanor charge, her attorney filed a consent agreement in Probate Court saying that she admitted guilt to the embezzlement of more than $130,000 from the estate of a murdered Toledo city worker.

The case is one of many allegations of theft by clients and former clients, including three people who have filed civil lawsuits in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

County Assistant Prosecutor J. Christopher Anderson said a Feb. 26 meeting has been scheduled with Ms. McConnell Hancock and her attorney, Jerry Phillips, to review her cases and determine the extent of possible charges. He said the investigation is continuing.

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