A former Sylvania police officer initially accused of cheating a resident out of money during the purchase of a motorcycle pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemeanor falsification charge in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Daniel Hannigan, 31, admitted that he understated the value of a vehicle he purchased when submitting paperwork to the Ohio Department of Taxation. In exchange for pleading guilty to the charge, a felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle will be dismissed.
Mr. Hannigan also would be responsible to pay the $4,000 he owed the victim for the motorcycle and the $540 in taxes and penalties that he failed to pay when he falsified the value of the vehicle.
At the time a police officer with the City of Sylvania, Mr. Hannigan since has resigned from his job.
"I underwrote the value of a purchase that I made," Mr. Hannigan told Judge Frederick McDonald, acknowledging his intention was to pay less tax.
According to Assistant County Prosecutor Frank Spryszak, Mr. Hannigan was criminally charged in August for allegations that he purchased a motorcycle from a resident but failed to pay fully for it.
The deal was that Mr. Hannigan would take the Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200 motorcycle in exchange for cleaning services through a carpet-cleaning business he owned, odd jobs around the house, and $4,000.
The felony charge was a result of his failing to complete payment to the victim, Mr. Spryszak said. None of the transactions occurred while Mr. Hannigan was on duty as a police officer.
Although dismissing the case, Mr. Spryszak told Judge McDonald that Mr. Hannigan had agreed to finish the deal and pay the money. He also agreed to pay the state money owed in taxes on two vehicles, although he was convicted of falsification for only one vehicle.
Originally facing up to 18 months in prison for the grand theft charge, Mr. Hannigan faces up to six months behind bars when sentenced March 2. Mr. Spryszak confirmed yesterday that Mr. Hannigan already provided two checks to complete his restitution requirements.
Mr. Hannigan said yesterday that he intends to move onto another career. He added that he will miss working with the residents of Sylvania but is looking forward to a new beginning.
"I'm seeking a new type of employment. I'm very optimistic for the future," he said.