No charges against Lebanon cop for missing tickets

A former Lebanon police officer will not face any criminal charges as a result of a number of missing traffic citations.

Warren County Prosecutor David P. Fornshell said a grand jury heard evidence relating to the actions of former Lebanon Division of Police Officer Eric Holmes, but did not issue an indictment. Holmes resigned from his job in March.

Fornshell said during an administrative review, Lebanon Division of Police discovered that from 2018 until February of this year, Holmes issued verbal warnings to 140 motorists for various traffic violations. However, after the stops were concluded, Holmes then completed written traffic citations for those same motorists, submitted them to Lebanon Division of Police for internal recording purposes, but then disposed of the duplicate copies of the citations that would ordinarily be served on the motorists and filed with the court.

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As a result, the motorists never knew about the citations nor faced any repercussions from the court, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or otherwise, Fornshell said.

After conducting its own internal administrative investigation, Lebanon Division of Police asked the Warren County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a criminal investigation. The Warren County Sheriff’s Office then submitted its investigative findings to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office for consideration of possible criminal charges.

Fornshell said based on both the administrative investigation and the criminal investigation, there was no evidence that Holmes received any tangible benefit from his actions. Lebanon officers have wide discretion to issue warnings to motorists who commit moving violations. There was no evidence of any kickbacks from the motorists or quid pro quos from Holmes.

Lebanon does not have a “quota” system for its officers, according to Fornshell. Nor did Holmes receive any compensation, promotion, or duty assignment as a result of the increased number of citations that Lebanon’s internal records showed him issuing.

Fornshell said that the details of Holmes’ actions will still be disclosed to defendants in all cases involving Holmes, pursuant to the United States Supreme Court decisions in Brady v. Maryland and Giglio v. United States, which involve turning over potentially exculpatory evidence.

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