Ashland attorney pleads guilty to grand theft
Hey Drew Tyler – Now I’m ROTFLMAO!!!!
AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN – LOL!
JUSTICE SYSTEM AS WE KNOW IT????
Al Lawrence 7:57 p.m. EST November 17, 2014
ASHLAND – An Ashland defense attorney and a former employee of the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office admitted Monday to charges that he used drugs and took money from a trust account of a former client.
Tim Potts, 43, pleaded guilty in Ashland County Common Pleas Court to felony charges of grand theft, forgery, possession of cocaine and possession of heroin, and misdemeanor charges of illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia, endangering children and falsification. Charges of obstructing justice, passing bad checks and a second count of grand theft were dismissed as part of a plea bargain.
Potts was charged after Ashland Municipal Judge John Good said he discovered more than $9,000 missing from the trust account, which was established to handle the client’s retainer for services when Good and Potts were law partners. Potts and Good both worked under former Prosecutor Robert DeSanto, then formed a legal partnership until Good became municipal court judge in 2012. Good said the account remained open because the client could not be found in order to refund the money.
Retired Stark County Common Pleas Judge Charles Brown Jr. was assigned to hear the case. Before he accepted Potts’ guilty pleas, he asked Potts to tell the court details of the crimes.
“During a period of time prior to my arrest on Aug. 26, for around a five- or six-week period of time, I involved myself in the purchase and use of cocaine and heroin, which was done at my house,” Potts said. “There was paraphernalia for the use of that left at my house and some of those things that were used to do the drugs were there when my children were there.”
Potts also admitted his actions put him in a significant financial strain that prompted him to take money from the account of his prior partnership. “I went to the bank and filled out forms to withdraw money from that account, and I knew that money wasn’t mine,” he said. Defense attorney Rolf Whitney said restitution was made before there was a formal case.
Judge Brown then found Potts guilty of the seven charges, ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and scheduled sentencing for Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. He said he intends to sentence Potts to three years of community control probation, suspend his driver’s license for six months with driving privileges for work and order him to pay court costs and costs for any jail time or treatment. Potts does not face fines because he was determined to be indigent. – NOW THIS IS ROTFLMAO – ARE YOU SERIOUS???
The judge also told Potts he faces three years in prison if he violates community control or if any one of four things happen before his sentencing date — he gets into further trouble, he fails to cooperate during the presentencing investigation, the investigation turns up a previous felony conviction or he violates his current bond, which was continued. Potts could have been sentenced to a maximum four-and-a-half years in prison on the felony charges.
Neither Whitney nor Richland County assistant prosecutors Gary Bishop and Cliff Murphy had any comments after the hearing. The Richland County Prosecutor’s Office is handling the case because of Potts’ ties to Ashland court officials.