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Published: Saturday, 6/7/2008

Attorney who faked kidnapping seeks divorce

Hancock McConnell Hancock

Karyn McConnell Hancock, who is being investigated for the theft of client funds while she served as an attorney, filed for divorce in Lucas County Domestic Relations Court, citing incompatibility and "extreme cruelty" on the part of her husband.

Ms. McConnell Hancock filed the paperwork May 30 asking for a divorce from Lawrence Hancock, Sr., her husband of four years. She also requested to be named as "residential parent and legal custodian" of the couple's two children, ages 3 and 3 months.

Named as third-party defendants are Ms. McConnell Hancock's parents, Toledo Municipal Judge C. Allen McConnell, and Tempie McConnell. The couple was listed because "they have limited interest in the minor children who are the subject matter of the action," court documents said.

Ms. McConnell Hancock sent a letter to the Ohio Supreme Court this year to resign as a lawyer after she was found guilty Jan. 29 to a misdemeanor charge of making false alarms. The charge evolved from her admission that she fabricated a story of being kidnapped from downtown and dropped off in Georgia.

Ms. McConnell Hancock was sentenced April 9 to two years of probation with a three-month jail sentence suspended, a $300 fine, and 40 hours of community service.

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

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

The Lucas County Prosecutor's Office is investigating the allegations.

In her divorce filing, Ms. McConnell Hancock said she was living with her parents, and her living expenses totaled nearly $4,000 a month. The court document alleged that her husband, a bishop at a church, has been "guilty of gross neglect of duty and extreme cruelty" toward Ms. McConnell Hancock and "the parties are incompatible, the facts of which shall be adduced at the final hearing of this cause."

No hearing date had been set as of yesterday.

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