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MECCA TWP. Ex-clerk begins jail term



Published: Tue, June 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



It was delayed until his wife completed six months in an alternative program.

WARREN -- A former Mecca Township clerk, twice indicted on charges related to missing township money, reported to Trumbull County Jail on Monday to begin serving a 30-day sentence.

Rand Chronister, 46, of Housel-Craft Road, Mecca, was sentenced in December after he pleaded guilty to a charge of dereliction of duty before Judge Peter J. Kontos of Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

The charge is a second-degree misdemeanor. Chronister also was sentenced to one year of probation and a $750 fine.

Chronister's attorney, Jay Milano of Rocky River, requested his client's sentence be deferred to allow him to be at home with a child while his wife served a sentence on similar charges.

Chronister was elected township clerk in 1987. In 1994 he and his wife, Lynda, were indicted on charges related to missing township money.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charges in November 1995 after authorities discovered $3,918 in township money in their personal checking account. They received probation and were ordered to make restitution.

Trustees voted to reinstate Chronister as clerk in 1997 after his replacement, Diane Palmer, resigned. Chronister resigned in November 1999 after being defeated in the clerk's race by Diane M. Drawl.

Second time: The Chronisters were indicted again last year after a special state audit prompted additional charges relating to missing township money.

Township officials said the couple forged 34 township checks totaling $32,570.

Lynda Chronister pleaded guilty to nine counts of forgery and one count of grand theft. She was ordered to pay restitution and recently completed a six-month sentence in Northeast Ohio Community Alternative Program for first-time, nonviolent offenders.




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