Crestline police officer pleads not guilty to bribery


A Crestline police officer was among several people arraigned in Crawford County Common Pleas Court in Bucyrus on Monday.

Mark Calicoat, 35, entered a not guilty plea to charges of bribery, a third-degree felony, dereliction of duty and falsification of statements, both misdemeanors. He is accused of dismissing tickets for sexual favors while he was on duty as a police officer.

The allegations first came about in a Facebook post by Crestline resident Matt Carroll last December that read, “It’s funny how Crestline cops are trading tickets for sexual favors. Something needs to be done.”

After an internal investigation was completed by Crestline Police Chief Joe Butler and Mayor Dave Sharrock, and the pair said they did not find any wrongdoing in the department, the matter was handed over to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations. The results of that investigation were then turned over to Crawford County Prosecutor Matthew Crall.

Crall gave all of the findings of the investigation to the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Prosecutor Brian Deckert from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is prosecuting the case and was in court on Monday. Calicoat, who is on unpaid leave from the police department, is represented by Columbus attorney Julie Keys .

Judge Sean Leuthold released Calicoat on a personal recognizance bond and ordered him to surrender his service weapon to Butler and that he is not to possess any firearms due to the fact that his indictment automatically places him on disability for weapons possession.

If convicted, Calicoat faces up to three years in prison on the felony charge and up to nine months in the county jail on the misdemeanor charges.

Other defendants that were arraigned on Monday include:

* Erin J. Lewis, possession of drugs, a second-degree felony, bond set at $500,000.

* Jeffrey Zenowicz, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, bond set at $100,000.

* Joseph Lewis, theft, fifth-degree felony, bond set at $50,000.

* Theodore Britt, possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, bond set at $100,000.

* Anthony Lockhart, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, bond set at $100,000.

* Ashley Alspach, possession of drugs and permitting drug abuse, bond set at $100,000.

Twitter: @kimberlygasuras

Mark Calicoat Calicoat

By Kimberly Gasuras

Galion Inquirer

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