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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

Stainbrook pleads not guilty over traffic stop

Jon Stainbrook, a Republican activist who is involved in a struggle for leadership of the Lucas County Republican Party, has pleaded not guilty to charges of obstructing official business and failure to disclose personal information, court records show.

He was arrested last week by University of Toledo police.

The pleas were filed Monday in Toledo Municipal Court through Mr. Stainbrook's attorney, Jerome Phillips. A trial is scheduled for May 22.

According to a campus police report, Mr. Stainbrook was the passenger in a car stopped on Birchwood Avenue in front of the former Heatherdowns School in South Toledo just after midnight April 23 when police asked for identification.

The driver, identified as Meghan Gallagher, 27, Mr. Stainbrook's girlfriend, said she stopped the car because Mr. Stainbrook, 44, was talking loudly on a cell phone and was distracting her.

When a campus officer asked for identification, Mr. Stainbrook refused to comply, saying he would speak only to Toledo police, the UT police report said.

The former school, now called Educare and used for a variety of children's services, is owned by the university.

According to the report, the officer investigated because the car was about four feet from the curb.

When Toledo police responded, Mr. Stainbrook handed over his identification, according to the report.

He was cited for failure to disclose personal information and obstructing official business and was released.

Mr. Stainbrook fielded a slate of candidates for the county GOP central committee in the March 4 election and is expected to be a candidate for party chairman when the committee meets. The meeting date has not been determined.

Ms. Gallagher ran for the central committee in her precinct in Old Orchard and was elected.

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