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.