Saturday, June 18th, 2022

Grand jury indicts former officer

By Leslie Gartrell
CELINA - A recently retired Celina police officer was indicted by a Mercer County grand jury on Thursday for allegedly using a law enforcement database to identify a person whom he believed was a friend of his wife.
Other misdemeanor charges against other individuals are being reviewed by the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office, according to a news release from Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey.
Officer Mark Burgoon, 50, reportedly improperly used the Law Enforcement Automated Data System (LEADS), a fifth-degree felony, according to the release.
LEADS is the database law enforcement officers use to check driving records, identify owners of vehicles from license plates, run a criminal history on a person and many other law enforcement functions, the release reads.
Grey in the release said the sheriff's office was contacted by Burgoon's wife on Nov. 3, 2021, from whom he was separated at the time. She alleged Burgoon was harassing her and had used the LEADS system to identify people he thought were her friends, according to the release.
The sheriff's office conducted the investigation instead of referring the case to the Celina Police Department to avoid a possible conflict of interest, according to the release.
"The investigation by Mercer County detectives revealed that the ongoing marital issues between the two had resulted in many allegations being leveled against each other," the release reads. "There were many unwanted verbal and electronic communications between both parties."
The investigation found Burgoon reportedly used the LEADS system on Aug. 3, 2021, to identify an individual whom he believed to be friends with his wife, per the release.
Accessing the LEADS system for any reason other than a law enforcement purpose is a fifth-degree felony under Ohio Law.
The information was presented to a county grand jury after detectives consulted with a special prosecutor who was assigned to review the case by the county prosecutor's office, according to the release.
A grand jury returned an indictment on Thursday. Burgoon, who reportedly retired in March, was served a summons to appear in Mercer County Common Pleas Court at 2:30 p.m. June 28.
Grey in the release said Celina Mayor Jeff Hazel, city safety service director Tom Hitchcock and Police Chief Tom Wale were notified of the investigation at its onset. The city of Celina and the Celina Police Department fully cooperated with the investigation, he said.
The investigation is still continuing with misdemeanor charges being reviewed by the prosecutor's office for other individuals. These charges, if filed, are not additional charges for Burgoon, according to the release.
No further information will be released by the sheriff's office at this time, the release reads.
Additional online story on this date
Retired football coaches Doug Frye of St. Marys and Ken Meyer of Marion Local were announced Friday as members of the 2023 Hall of Fame class for the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
CELINA - A group of young students this week learned that government is a provider of essential services that affects the quality of local people's lives, not just a faraway, abstract concept.
NEW BREMEN - A home sustained severe damage in a fire Friday evening.
No other details were available as of press time.
A call for mutual aid to assist New Bremen firefighters with a structure fire at 7646 County Road 66A went out at about 6:50 p.m.
Mariners struggle in fourth inning as Joes pick up victory
CELINA - It takes just one bad inning to turn a close game into a struggle.
For Grand Lake on Friday night, that inning was the fourth as Hamilton scored four runs to turn a 2-1 Mariner lead into a 5-2 Joes lead en route to an 8-2 win for the visitors at Montgomery Field.
Defiance College named Celina High School graduate Bill Nickell as its new head football coach on Friday, per a press release from the college.