TRUMBULL COUNTY Ex-prosecutor charged in odometer tampering
Authorities say Dragelevich had a car odometer disconnected, reset and altered.
By PEGGY SINKOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- A former Trumbull County prosecutor is facing a federal charge of odometer tampering.
J. Walter Dragelevich, now a defense attorney with a practice in Niles, is accused of altering the odometer in a 1999 Oldsmobile Bravado, according to information filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland.
Dragelevich, 60, did not return messages left at his office and home. Dragelevich was county prosecutor from 1971 to 1984.
Assistant U.S. Atty. David A. Sierleja did not know Thursday when Dragelevich would appear in court.
If Dragelevich is convicted, he could face up to three years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He would also face a fine of up to $250,000.
The case was investigated by FBI agents in the Youngstown office, Sierleja said.
Authorities say that on May 12 Dragelevich had the odometer on the Oldsmobile "disconnected, reset and altered, intending to change the mileage registered by the odometer, from 26,624 miles, to 16,651 miles."
The federal document does not indicate who owned the vehicle.
Dragelevich, of 1156 Academy Drive, Liberty, also was a part-time assistant to Anthony J. Celebrezze Jr. when Celebrezze was Ohio attorney general.
He resigned from that post in January 1989 after questions of a possible conflict of interest were raised.
From October 1986 until 1988, Dragelevich was chairman of Erie Shores, a membership resort on Lake Erie near Ashtabula.
Celebrezze filed a 15-page complaint against the company in 1989, contending violations of state consumer laws.