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Man questioned on solicitations in Lebanon released from Dayton jail

The Dayton man booked into the Montgomery County Jail late last month after questions were raised about charitable solicitations made in Lebanon has been released, according to records.

Joseph E. Steward, 50, of Dayton, was released from the jail earlier this week after pleading guilty to obstructing official business and possession of drug paraphernalia in Montgomery County Municipal Court, according to court records.

Steward was given credit for 17 days he served in the county jail. A $100 fine and 43 days in jail were suspended during a hearing on Tuesday, according to court records.

RELATED: Questions about solicitations in Lebanon land man in jail in Dayton

Steward was booked into the jail on Nov. 29, about an hour after he was turned over to Trotwood police, according to police and jail records.

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He was transferred by Lebanon police to a Trotwood officer following an investigation prompted by questions about a group of people claiming to be selling items for homeless veterans outside the Walmart store off U.S. 42 in Lebanon.

On Thursday, no charges had been filed in the Lebanon case.

“The investigation is still under way. We are not prepared to release any details at this time,” Capt. Dave Gehringer of the Lebanon Police Department said on Wednesday via email.

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Steward was arrested after store employees called police for assistance.

“We received a call from Walmart management yesterday afternoon, asking for an officer to be present while a manager spoke with the persons taking donations for Disabled American Veterans,” Gehringer said in a Nov. 30 email. “We identified several persons involved and made a traffic stop.”

“The store granted permission for a veterans group to collect money outside the front door,” according to a run sheet from the incident. “Now the store believed they are not legitimate.”

Steward, who previously lived in Walbridge, Ohio, according to records, was arrested and transported to Montgomery County.

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Steward is scheduled to return to court in Montgomery County on Dec. 27 for a revocation hearing stemming from charges of providing false information, failing to stay in marked lanes and driving under suspension filed by the Ohio Highway Patrol.

A final uncontested hearing is set for Jan. 31 in his divorce case.

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