Cleves Police Chief Indicted

As reported in the issue of CityBeat that hits newsstands today, Cleves Police Chief Mark Demeropolis was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending an investigation into “internal issues” by the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. Late this afternoon, we found out why.

Demeropolis was indicted today on a series of criminal charges, including a Bureau of Motor Vehicles scam, according to County Prosecutor Joe Deters. Demeropolis, 42, was charged with three counts of tampering with records, two counts of forgery and one count of tampering with evidence involving two separate incidents.

A probe by the Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission concluded that several employees at the deputy registrar’s office on Colerain Avenue in Mount Airy issued license plate registrations to businesses, friends and family members, even though their vehicles failed the state-mandated E-Check test for emissions. In 2004 and 2005, Demeropolis licensed two personal vehicles at the office using fraudulent EPA codes. Demeropolis, a former BMV employee, knew how to manipulate and abuse the E-Check system, prosecutors said.

Also, three workers at the Mount Airy office — Aimee Wolfinbarger, Veronica Newell and Trecy Bates — were each indicted on two counts of tampering with records for issuing false license plates.

In a separate incident that occurred in May, Demeropolis allegedly instructed a Cleves police officer to shred information concerning a drunken driving arrest, prosecutors said. He then had the officer charge the suspect with reckless operation instead of driving under the influence.

Demeropolis faces up to 22 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

Check out writer Justine Reisinger’s article, “Police Chief Suspended,” in this week’s CityBeat for more information on the troubled police department and Demeropolis.

— Kevin Osborne

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