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WARREN Police take more of auditor's records



Published: Thu, May 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The municipal court judges have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to appoint a visiting judge.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

and DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Police have confiscated additional records from the city auditor's office.

Auditor David Griffing said police were at his office with a subpoena seeking memos he has written regarding deficiencies in other departments.

& quot;Sounds to me like he's trying to build his case, & quot; Griffing said about Detective Jeff Hoolihan, who served the subpoena.

"He asked for all memos and any other paperwork I would have in reference to other department financial deficiencies from 1996 to present."

Griffing said he gave the detective everything he had. "I really don't know what he's looking at," Griffing said.

Hoolihan could not be reached.

Charges filed

Griffing and his brother Richard, manager of the city's water department, were charged last month with two counts each of dereliction of duty.

The two are accused of failing to make sure water department money was deposited in a bank daily. The charges were filed by Bob Johnson, Girard city prosecutor, who is serving as prosecutor in that case.

Judge Thomas Gysegem of Warren Municipal Court has been assigned to the Griffings' cases, but Terry Ivanchak, presiding judge of the municipal court, has asked the Ohio Supreme Court to appoint a visiting judge.

The local judges said that to avoid a conflict of interest, they should not hear the Griffing cases because they involve a city department. "We do not want any hint of impropriety in the eyes of the public in the handling of this case," Judge Ivanchak wrote to the supreme court.

FBI agents and city police have been investigating the water department for about a year.

Finding for recovery

In June, the state auditor's office issued a finding for recovery of $26,036 against Debra Dunewood, the department's former head cashier.

She has not been charged with a crime.

She was approved for a disability retirement Feb. 13, 2001.

According to the audit, Dunewood sometimes delayed depositing money, showing a potential lapping scheme to divert cash and delay deposits until sufficient subsequent receipts are accumulated to cover the amount diverted.

Mayor Hank Angelo has said that since the audit was released, procedures such as the installation of additional security cameras have been implemented to address problems.

sinkovich@vindy.com

dick@vindy.com




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