Kimpel appeal case sets oral arguments for March 27 in Lima

By Jim Painter - For the Sidney Daily News

LIMA – Officials of the Third District Court of Appeals here has set March 27 as the date to hear oral arguments in a case filed by former Shelby County Sheriff Dean Kimpel to reverse a lower court’s decision. Kimpel was denied a request to withdraw his guilty plea in an illegal computer use case from 2012 that eventually lead to his resignation as sheriff.

An order filed in Shelby County Common Pleas Court on Monday, by the court magistrate, gives notice to attorneys who wish to speak during the court procedure have until March 16 to notify the court. Lawyers also have the option to choose not to present an oral argument.

The court session will be held at 10 a.m. in the Lima court located at 204 N. Main St.

The presiding judicial panel will include Judge John Williamowski and Judge Vernon Preston, of the Third District, and Judge Michael Hall of the Second District, who will be sitting by assignment.

On Aug. 15, a 39-page document was filed in court detailing Kimpel’s argument on three noted points regarding a decision handed down in July.

The action stems from Kimpel attempting to prove the state withheld vital evidence that would have prevented his decision to plead guilty. In that case, he was accused of using the Ohio Law Enforcement Gateway (OHLEG) computer to illegally look up individuals for personal purposes.

On April 13, 2012, Kimpel pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized use of a computer through his then-attorney Michael Rumer of Lima. The charge of unauthorized use of computer, cable, or telecommunications property, a felony of the fifth-degree.

Later that year he resigned as sheriff and was fined and sentenced to two years of community control for the offense. A charge of sexual battery against him in Auglaize County was dismissed, as part of a plea agreement.

Kimpel denied in civil right case

This past May 12, in a civil rights case, a daylong hearing in Sidney focused on a vital piece of evidence used in a sexual battery investigation against him during the same time as the computer offense. Kimpel claimed the evidence was misused to coerce a guilty plea from him for the computer use offense.

That day, Kimpel claimed he was denied due process when the evidence was withheld from him. He contended his sixth amendment rights were violated when investigators and prosecutors misconduct prevented him from bringing a civil lawsuit sooner.

Kimpel also claimed he was not given the same latitude as others. He claims to be the only person to be prosecuted in Ohio for the computer use violation. The Violation of Equal Protection offense points out there was evidence that other people had used the computer system for similar purposes. He contends there was “prosecutorial discretion” and an “unequal application of the law” in being singled out for the computer offense.

On July 27, retired Judge James Brogan ruled the state did not withhold vital information that Kimpel claimed would have prevented his plea and case outcome.

In the court documents, Kimpel’s attorney Jeremy Tomb contends Brogan failed to rule favorably for Kimpel for the same reason in the original case of withholding evidence; questions the admissibility of Kimpel’s statements to investigators from Licking County; and, the charges were without merit.

In a separate lawsuit involving alleged civil rights violations remains on the docket with no recent activity. The case was filed against Shelby County Commissioners and John and Jane Doe (1 through 10). The suit calls for an award more than $25,000 plus legal fees.

By Jim Painter

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News