WILMINGTON — New Vienna’s former police chief will spend the beginning of the new year in the STAR Community Justice System.
Clinton Brown, 50, received his sentence from Judge Linton Lewis in Clinton County Common Pleas Court on Monday. Brown pled guilty to one count of theft in office and one of two charges of deception to obtain dangerous drugs — all felony 4 offenses — in September. An additional drug charge was dismissed.
As part of the plea agreement, Brown would be decertified as a law enforcement officer and will have to pay $5,776.07 in restitution to the Village of New Vienna.
Court documents state that Brown is ordered to report to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office on Jan. 6 for the imposition of a six-month jail term “which will then be suspended on Jan. 8 … when he is transferred to the custody of STAR officials” who will transport Brown to the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin.
If Brown completes the requirements of the STAR program, he will have to complete an “intense supervision program” with the Clinton County Community Supervision Program (CCCSP). This supervision could include, at minimum, a weekly face-to-face meeting.
Upon successful completion of the program, Brown shall then be monitored by the basic supervision module of the Adult Probation Department of the Common Pleas Court. This will include a month-by-month meeting with probation officials.
Before the sentencing, Katie Wilkin, on behalf of the state, said Brown minimized the severity of the case in the pre-sentencing investigation (PSI).
“His version (of events) in the PSI states ‘well, everybody knew about it’ and ‘I got permission,’” said Wilkin. “That’s not what the state believes … he used his own personal accounts to get this money.”
Brett Rudduck, the village’s solicitor, advised the K9 investment was a huge gamble for the village and that reimbursement was a top priority for the village.
Alycia Bemmes, Brown’s public defender, argued that Brown had expressed remorse for his actions. Bemmes also argued Brown to be placed on community control instead of the STAR program due to financial struggles he and his wife have had since his termination, and that Brown had been fully cooperative with investigators since the case began.
Brown also gave further details about the medical issues — including emergency medical procedures — that led to developing drug dependency. Brown did advise that paying back the village was his top priority.
Brown resigned in December 2017 after he admitted to misusing money raised through a GoFundMe account to purchase a K9 dog and to cover related expenses.
Between Jan. 21 and June 26, 2017, donors gave $14,020 to the New Vienna Police Department K9 Fund he set up in his name. According to the Ohio Auditor’s office, which conducted an investigation at Mayor Kathi Stone’s request, village financial losses were $5,776. This included a $2,600 bill for a vehicle cage for a K-9 police cruiser and $700 owed to a K-9 handler training company.
Wilkin advised at one point, Brown had gone to 17 different doctors “within days of each other” to obtain “extreme amounts” of the same drug — hydrocodone.
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574