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Sturgeon expected to plead guilty



Published: Sat, December 9, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Neither side would reveal any details of the pending plea agreement.

By JEFF ORTEGA

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

COLUMBUS -- Prosecutors are expecting a guilty plea Monday from a Youngstown-area lawyer charged with lying to state investigators in connection with his alleged sexual misconduct with clients.

Edward F. Sturgeon of Boardman is expected to enter a guilty plea when he appears Monday before a judge here on a three-count felony perjury indictment, Assistant Franklin County Prosecutor David Zeyen said Friday.

Sturgeon's criminal trial was scheduled to begin Monday before Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Julie Lynch.

Zeyen declined to elaborate, saying a tentative agreement was still being formalized.

Mark Collins, a Columbus-based lawyer for Sturgeon, would only say: "Both sides have been working toward a common resolution for the past week; however, there are still many things to be done." Collins declined to elaborate.

Statements

The criminal case against Sturgeon stems from statements Sturgeon allegedly gave to state disciplinary counsel investigators on Nov. 10, 2004.

Sturgeon has admitted to two sex-related acts with clients in his private practice.

At a state disciplinary hearing last year on misconduct allegations, Sturgeon admitted he had sex with one client in March 2003 and exposed himself to another client in June 2003, both at his office in downtown Youngstown.

Sturgeon has denied he wanted a third woman to trade sex for legal fees in March 2004 at her townhouse in Liberty in suburban Youngstown.

During the disciplinary hearing, Sturgeon reportedly admitted that he had not been truthful in some of the answers he gave during a deposition with Ohio Supreme Court disciplinary counsel investigators.

Prosecutors say Sturgeon was charged in Franklin County because his interview with the disciplinary counsel took place in this county.

If convicted on all of the charges, Sturgeon faces maximum sentences of up to five years in state prison on each count and maximum fines of up to 10,000 on each count.

The Ohio Supreme Court has permanently revoked Sturgeon's law license in connection with the disciplinary case.




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