Thursday, October 26, 2006


Former City of Lorain Safety Service Director Craig Miller was in court today to be sentenced after being found guilty last month by a jury of Obstruction of Justice.

Miller’s Attorney’s Kevin Spellacy and Mark Stanton both read brief statements to Judge Christopher Rothgery asking him to show leniency to their client. Both spoke of Miller’s clean record and of his family life and service to the community.

The Prosecutor, Anthony Cillo, took “umbrage” with the letters that were sent in support of Miller by Officials who sent their letters on government letterhead. Cillo pointed out Mayor Craig Foltin’s, stating that not only did the Mayor use the city letterhead but he also misstated the facts and the law itself. “It’s not proper for another public official to try and use his influence and his letterhead, when the city lost money, to try and get this court to reinstitute a misdemeanor that was not even available.”

Miller spoke to the Judge and said that from the beginning he said the “buck stopped at his desk”. He said that when he met with the police and misstated the date that he spoke to the ethics commission he realized it and went back to them the very next day and told them about it. “Had I been more diligent with the lease to begin with none of this would have happened, I make no excuses. I owe the tax payers better, of the hundreds if not thousands of contracts that I have signed or approved over the last six years, I have done so with the best of my ability for the tax payers. I regret what has happened and I am sorry to the tax payers and I am deeply, deeply sorry to this Court."

Then it was time for Judge Christopher Rothgery to speak. “Much like in the Johnson case, everything that is before me, other than this offense, tells me that you have made every attempt to lead a law abiding life. I have determined that a non-prison sentence would not demean the conviction." Rothgery then sentenced Miller to 3 years probation with basic supervision. 40 hours of community service and he was ordered by the court to pay his fines and court costs.

It was after that that Rothgery dropped the bomb on the courtroom. Rothgery echoed the Prosecutors sentiments about the officials sending in support letters using government letterheads. "The last community control sanction I am going to impose will be 10 days in Lorain County Correctional Facility. Those will be served beginning this date sir. That is not necessarily for a question of specific deterrence, in other words I am not doing it because I think it will stop you from committing the offense in the future. I think, as indicated by your attorneys, your abject humiliation, the problems you’re going to have with employment in your chosen field in the future, those are all things that will remind you daily of the mistake you made. But it’s for others as well. Perhaps some of those others who wrote letters to this court, for them to reflect on what they say and what they do when they take those steps as public officials."

Miller was then led out of the courtroom by two Lorain County Sheriff Deputies as his family and supporters watched on.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is really going to hurt his safety service directing career. But on the positive side just imagine what it could do for his rap career! 10 days at county and 3 years probation. That's what I call "working on the street cred"

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The inability for Judge Rothgery to separate politics from his position is incredible. You took an oath to the people not the Democratic party. I respectfully remove myself from the party. On another note, what's up with Dennis Will donating 1,000.00 to Betty...interesting. Whatever!!!!

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

POLITICS, POLITICS, POLITICS! The guy who made money, the one who created the scam gets 30 days and Miller who misspoke one afternoon then right away goes back and sets the record straight the very next day gets put in jail for 10 days? I have been a supporter of Judge Rothgery, I have had his sign in my yard before. NOT next time. Run again Judge Rothgery, don't drill a sign in my yard. That space will be reserved for someone who can leave his political party out of the courtroom.

11:46 AM  
Anonymous William from Elyria said...

I agree what Mr. Miller did was wrong and should be held accountable. However,10 days in jail? Do you know Judge's give probation only to drunk drivers? These people endanger the lives of everyone on the road and they get a pass. This man made a mistake on a date and corrected himself a day later and he will be sitting in jail for 10 days. I am with the last person who commented, no longer will I support Mr. Rothgery. I am a life long democrat but with the way this country is going I am begining to think that the idea of DEM & REP parties is hurting us.

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Judge Rothgery, make an example of yourself. Leave the bench. Big mistake to take politics into your chambers. I am Democrat and I am disappointed with your performance.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous jason said...

maybe the judge is trying to let mr. miller enjoy some of the same man to man "recreational activities" that he may (or may not) currently partake in. Lay your back and don't fall asleep buddy, 10 days is only 240 hours.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live near Judge Rothgery and have always found him to be a nice man. I have never had a chance to see him as a judge until I read this report and saw the video on the CT website. If Mr. Rothgery sentenced Mr. Miller to 10 days in jail because of the crime he committed then I would have no problem. However, he chose to impose a 3 year probation fines and such at first, then he brought up Mayro Foltin and the fact that he wrote a support letter on "taxpayer produced letterhead". He also said that other politicians had done the same but did not name them, only naming Mayor Foltin as did the prosecutor. Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of Mayor Foltin, I am a DEM and have been my entire life. In my opinion, the way Judge Rothgery played politics from the bench was far worse then any Mayor using city letterhead to send a support letter. I take umbrage with Mr. Cilo and Judge Rothgery's very blatant political stunt by inserting Mayor Foltin's name then sending his former safety diretor to jail. By the way Judge Rothgery, visit the jail you sent this man to sometime, see how much space they have available for people you so callously send off because you want to hurt your political foes. How about you spend your time on the bench sending drunk drivers, pedophiles, drug dealers and other real criminals away to make our neighborhoods safe. Do you think you made our community safer because you sent that man to jail?

I am disgusted by politicians today and after seeing what Judge Rothgery did I am afraid I am done with politics forever. At my age I will not be on this earth much longer, and the way it is going maybe it is for the better.

I hope something changes in politics, doubt it will, but I will hope and pray.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The few times I have written comments on here I have attached my name, but like the others that have commented I will leave this one anonymous, God forbid I should have to go before Judge Rothgery in the future. I am not sure I can say anything that hasn't already been said I can only support the previous comments. I am also saddened by Judge Rothgerys actions and ashamed as well because I have supported him in the past. This is probably just business as usual at the justice center.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with a majority of responders. As a fellow democrat, I am deeply disturbed by Judge Rothgery making the courtroom his political 'soapbox'. If the judge had a problem with the letters written by local politicians- fine- mention that as an aside, or after fully sentencing Miller based on his personal merits and facts of the case. Judge Rothgery sullied the courtroom with his personal, political agenda.

As for the comment from Jason, perhaps you can find a different website to satisfy your homoerotic fantasies (you probably have several of them bookmarked). Please leave this site for legitimate political discussions.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous jason said...

anonymous. grow a set of balls baby. my comments are intended to make light of a tense situation. as a friend of craig miller and a supporter as well might I suggest you step out from behind your cloak of sad anonymity and give me a call. tmc news knows my number. just ask for it. and as for me and my homoerotic status. you wish. if that's what you are looking for then you are on the wrong site. speaking of, this is a news site, take your poltical position and shine it up real nice and sit on it. get a life

5:24 PM  
Anonymous MATT said...

I love it how the commenters attack other commenters and then comment on the other commenter and not actually on the posted "Breaking News Story".

1:37 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

and also the 1st comment on this post is mine. the one about Miller working on his street cred. I just want to claim it as mine because some people give anonymous a bad name

1:40 AM  
Anonymous you make me sick said...

To my fellow anonymous poster, I hope agreeing with Jason doesn't mean I like the taste of man meat. I think the point that you failed to see is that Jason is using a farcical post to mock the stupidity of the judge’s decision.

It boggles my mind to think the judge really believes it’s a good idea to send Miller to jail for ten days. The overcrowding at the jail is so bad that drunk drivers and spousal abusers are released at the time of booking because there is no place to put them. How can the judge justify letting even one dangerous person on the street to jail Miller. Shame on you judge for letting political ambition and party loyalty stand in the way of justice. Now I know why the statue in the justice center lobby wears the blindfold.

As for you anonymous... Go to sleep and dream of man penis or whatever it is that your tortured mind does when you close your eyes.. Maybe you need to remove your blindfold also.

2:15 AM  
Anonymous Sue from Elyria said...

I hope voters remember this when Judge Rothgery comes up for reelection.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Michael Petruzzi said...

(But it’s for others as well. Perhaps some of those others who wrote letters to this court, for them to reflect on what they say and what they do when they take those steps as public officials. Judge Rothgery)

Judge Rothgery, if you represent the citizens of this community then I, as a citizen of this community, would like to ask you to deal with the case before you, not with your political party. To insert Mayor Foltin’s name, and none of the other politicians into your sentencing of Mr. Miller disgusts me. To put that man in jail for what he did is so transparent you should be ashamed of yourself, however I doubt that you are. That is probably the saddest part of all of this, you say those politicians don’t understand what Mr. Miller did, I suggest Sir that you don’t understand that you crossed a line. The power of your judgeship has gone to your head and you believe that your bench is your pulpit to spew your parties politics. Get back to the law Judge Rothgery or do the citizens of this community, the community that you serve, a favor and step down and go back to private practice.

On a personal note, I wonder what your father thinks of your antics. I know Ken Rothgery and I know him to be an honorable man, a fair man, a man who respects the law. I’m sure he is “real proud” of his son the Judge.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rothgery is synonymous with incompetence. A judge must be able to think and act independently within the courtroom. Judge Rothgery proved blatantly incapable of this as he was speaking practically verbatim the words of Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Cillo in his sentencing of Craig Miller. As others have already pointed out, the courtroom is no place to play politics.

Another sign of incompetence is while serving as the treasurer of Sherrod Brown’s congressional committee back in December 1993. [Nothing against Brown, I will be voting for him next week.] As pointed out in an article by Stephen Koff of the Plain Dealer, Brown’s congressional committee did not pay unemployment taxes until a lien was placed against the campaign. Christopher Rothgery, now known as “Honorable” Judge Rothgery, was responsible to pay these taxes as the treasurer of Brown’s campaign. His response to not paying the taxes on time, even though his office was listed as the mailing address for the tax notice: “I did not receive it”. Nice answer; shift the blame to someone else. Guess how many times ‘I did not receive’ my credit card bill or tax forms from the IRS? If you do something wrong, you own up to it, not blame someone else. That is honorable. That is what Craig Miller did while standing in front of your bench, Judge Rothgery.

6:55 AM  

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