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Chief of police in Cleves is indicted

by Kevin Eigelbach Saturday, Jul. 15, 2006 at 7:05 AM

Mark Demeropolis, 42, was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on four counts of tampering with records and two counts of forgery, according to Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters.

Chief of police in Cleves is indicted

By Kevin Eigelbach

Post staff reporter

The police chief of Cleves was indicted Wednesday on a series of charges, including one involving an alleged Bureau of Motor Vehicles scam.

Mark Demeropolis, 42, was indicted by a Hamilton County grand jury on four counts of tampering with records and two counts of forgery, according to Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters.

Demeropolis has been on unpaid administrative leave since June 13, Cleves Mayor Danny Stacy said, and would remain so until the charges are resolved.

"If he's found innocent, he will be made whole," Stacy said. "We'll pay him back."

The Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission charged that employees at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles deputy registrar's office in Mount Airy issued license plate registrations to businesses, friends and family members whose vehicles had failed to pass an emissions test.

According to Deters, in 2004 and 2005, Demeropolis licensed two of his personal vehicles through that office, and fraudulent Environmental Protection Agency codes were used to authorize the license plates.

Demeropolis used to work for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Three employees of the Mount Airy office were also indicted on two counts of tampering with records in connection with the issuing of false license plates. They were Aimee Wolfinbarger, Veronica Newell and Trecy Bates.

According to Deters, in an unrelated incident on May 20, Demeropolis told a Cleves police officer to shred Datamaster information about a drunken driving arrest. He had the officer charge the suspect with reckless operation instead.

If convicted of all charges, Demeropolis faces up to 22 years in prison.

The mayor said he learned of the situation involving Demeropolis about June 8, and asked two officers to do an internal investigation. After consulting with the mayor, they turned their findings over to the prosecutor on June 12.

In Demeropolis' absence, Lt. Bill Renner is serving as acting chief for the 14-person police department. Since the situation with Demeropolis came up, the department has not missed a beat, Stacy said.

"There's been no panic, there's been no, 'Oh, my God, what's going to happen next,'" he said.

The situation with Demeropolis caught Stacy totally by surprise, he said, and upset him personally because they had worked together closely.

In January of last year, 11 officers petitioned for Demeropolis' resignation over issues they had about his management style.

The Cleves City Council decided not to act on the petition, finding no evidence of mismanagement of funds.

Demeropolis agreed to complete a management course, Stacy said, which helped the dust settle from that issue.

"He's a hard worker," Stacy said of the police chief. "He's done a lot of good for the village."

Mayor Of Cleves Baffled By Indictments Against Police Chief

LAST UPDATE: 7/13/2006 12:21:37 AM

The mayor of Cleves says he's baffled by the indictments brought against his police chief.

Chief Mark Demeropolis was indicted on three counts of tampering with records, two counts of forgery and one count of tampering with evidence. He turned himself in Wednesday.

Demeropolis is accused of forging documents to authorize license plates for his personal vehicles.

The indictment also says he ordered one of his officers to shred information concerning a DUI arrest in May.

According to court documents, Demeropolis ordered the officer to charge the suspect with reckless operation, instead of DUI.

"That's the baffling part, because our chief has done a lot of good for this village," said Danny Stacy, Cleves mayor. "He has worked hard down here, and to make a decision like that just baffles me."

"We deny the charges," said Mike Allen, Demeropolis' attorney. "The chief has a long record, good record, in this town with respect to law enforcement."

Demeropolis also worked as an investigator for the state medical board.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters says at least one medical case Demeropolis worked on will now have to be reviewed.

Chief Demeropolis is currently on unpaid leave.

Lieutenant Bill Renner is Cleves' acting police chief.

Grand Jury Indicts Cleves Police Chief

POSTED: 2:12 pm EDT July 12, 2006

UPDATED: 9:00 am EDT July 13, 2006

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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio -- Cleves Police Chief Mark Demeropolis has been indicted on a series of charges that could send him to prison for 22 years if convicted.

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office said a grand jury indicted the 42-year-old Demeropolis on three counts of tampering with records, two counts of forgery and one count of tampering with evidence.

According to a news release, the chief instructed an officer to shred Datamaster information concerning a DUI arrest, then had the officer charge the suspect with reckless operation.

The release also said that the Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission found several employees at the Deputy Registrar's office on Colerain Avenue issued license plate registrations to businesses, friends and family members when their vehicles had failed the E-Check.

Demeropolis licensed two personal vehicles at the location, officials siad, and fraudulent EPA codes were used to authorize the license plates. He was once employed by the BMV.
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