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BROOKFIELD Former officer is given probation



Published: Fri, July 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The sheriff was asked by township police in April to investigate allegations that the officer broke into the home of a female friend.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

BROOKFIELD -- A former township police officer, who was found guilty of misdemeanor charges of menacing by stalking and criminal trespassing, has been given probation.

Judge Ronald Rice of Eastern District Court sentenced James Baker to seven months in jail, but suspended it and ordered Baker to serve two years' probation.

Baker resigned from the Brookfield Police Department last month. He also has voluntarily surrendered his Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certificate.

Without the certificate, Baker cannot work as a police officer, court officials said.

Baker, who was a lieutenant, worked at the department for 10 years.

The judge also ordered Baker to make restitution for the damage he caused to a door at a woman's home and to have no contact with her.

The victim did not appear in court at Thursday's sentencing.

The maximum sentence Baker could have received is seven months in jail and a $1,250 fine, said Atty. Sean O'Brien, an assistant Trumbull County prosecutor.

Investigation

The sheriff's department was asked by township police in April to investigate allegations that Baker broke into the home of a female friend.

Baker, who was off duty at the time, was a suspect from the beginning, said Brookfield Police Chief Dan Faustino.

The victim lived in a mobile home off state Route 7. Nothing was taken from the home, according to police reports.

Faustino said his department was conducting an internal investigation, but once Baker resigned, the probe ended.

Faustino said Baker had been a good officer.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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