A former Morrow police officer is set to admit he stole from a fallen deputy’s memorial golf outing and will plead no contest to stealing from a client of his printing business, a special prosecutor said.
But he’s likely to only get probation.
Carol O’Brien, Delaware County prosecutor who is serving as special prosecutor for this case, said Ryan Hunt is scheduled to appear Wednesday morning in the county Common Pleas Court. He is expected to enter pleas on four felony charges, two in the Dulle case and two in a separate case, O’Brien said.
O’Brien said she has agreed to recommend probation for Hunt. For an alleged first-time offender in a non-violent case such as this one, Ohio sentencing laws favor probation, she said.
Hunt’s lawyer, John D. Smith of Springboro, could not be reached for comment.
Hunt, who lives in the Maineville area of Warren County, had been under investigation since March, said Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims.
He explained that Hunt was one of many people who stepped forward and held a fund-raiser to benefit the family of Sgt. Brian Dulle, Sims said. A married father of three young children, Dulle became the county’s first deputy to die in the line of duty when a speeding vehicle struck him in May 2011 as he deployed stop sticks along U.S. 42 in Turtlecreek Township.
Hunt was “a familiar face” because he had been a police officer in Morrow and Harveysburg and also had “business connections,” Sims said. O’Brien wasn’t sure how long ago Hunt had served as an officer but she said he was no longer employed in that capacity during the time of the alleged crimes.
Hunt held a memorial golf outing for Dulle’s family at Shaker Run Golf Club in Lebanon during the summer of 2011. By March 2012, the sheriff’s office learned that no money from the event had made its way to the Dulle family, Sims said.
Suspicions intensified, Sims said, because the amount Hunt reported having raised was fluctuating from $6,000 to $10,000.
Investigators said he produced revenue and expense statements that showed the event made a profit of more than $9,500.
Eventually, Hunt made a $12,000 contribution to the Dulle memorial fund, apparently thinking that the payment would halt the investigation, Sims said. “We still had to go forward and find out what happened,” Sims said.
O’Brien added: “You don’t get to commit a crime, pay extra money and not have any consequences. You can’t rob a bank, walk out and say, ‘Here’s your money back.’”
As an offshoot of the Dulle fund probe, investigators also learned that a Knoxville, Tenn., firm, Southland Marketing and Development Inc., had paid for printing services that Hunt did not produce as agreed, Sims said. The amount in question there ranges from $30,000 to $48,000, O’Brien said.
Hunt is expected to plead guilty to charges of theft and tampering with evidence in the Dulle case; he’s expected to plead no contest to charges of theft and tampering with records in the Southland case, O’Brien said.