Cleveland-area police chief will resign if charges are dropped

Last updated: May 05. 2014 4:26PM - 373 Views
By Jane Beathard jbeathard@civitasmedia.com

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Criminal charges against former Moreland Hills Police Chief Thomas Flauto will be dropped, if he officially resigns in the next 30 to 60 days, according to Madison County Prosecutor Steve Pronai.

Pronai said negotiations with Flauto’s attorney, Dominic Vitantonio, resolved the case prior to a May 7 jury trial in the local common pleas court.

“They (Moreland Hills officials) just want (Flauto) gone,” Pronai said.

Pronai noted Moreland Hills officials can’t relieve Flauto’s suspension until the criminal case is resolved.

Flauto, 70, was indicted in February 2013 for allegedly illegally accessing an Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) database as a favor to then-Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Dimora is currently serving a 28-year prison sentence for racketeering and corruption-related crimes, according to published reports.

Flauto was charged in Madison County because BCI computers are housed in the agency’s headquarters, north of London.

Flauto pleaded not guilty and has been on unpaid leave for 15 months.

Moreland Hills is a Cleveland suburb.

During a teleconference on Monday, May 5, visiting common pleas judge Steven P. Beathard ordered Vitantonio to submit a memorandum to Pronai by 4 p.m. Tuesday that specifies Flauto’s resignation date. A copy of that memo must be in Beathard’s hands by Wednesday morning. Otherwise, the judge will set a new trial date.

Vitantonio said the agreement resolves Flauto’s criminal troubles. However, a civil case in Cuyahoga County is pending.

Under terms of the agreement, Pronai is free to re-charge Flauto in the future.

Jane Beathard can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 16 or via Twitter @JaneBeathard.

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