Portage deputy found guilty

By Susan DiMauro Record-Courier staff writer Published:

Bates, 55, of Jones Road, Palmyra, was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies and transported to Portage County Jail.

He will be sentenced after a pre-sentencing investigation is completed.

He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine for bribery, a third-degree felony, and six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for the first-degree misdemeanor charge of intimidation.

After the verdict of the five male and seven female jurors was read, defense attorney Ron Kane made a motion for a mistrial because Chief Portage County Deputy David Doak was seen walking near the jury's conference room during the two hours of deliberations.

That motion was overruled by Judge John Enlow.

Bates was suspended from his position without pay after his indictment in April for asking fellow deputy Elizabeth Hurd to help save his son's future career in law enforcement.

Christopher Bates, 23, was charged for a fight at a June 1998 party in Niles. He was going through a hiring process for the Munroe Falls Police Department when his father was notified of a warrant for his arrest.

Bates asked Hurd to talk with the alleged assault victim and woman who served alcohol to underage persons at the gathering in order to have the charge against his son dropped.

Hurd was told to carry her weapon and badge when making the visits and was paid $180 in cash after telling Bates she traveled to Trumbull County to speak with the victim and woman.

The sheriff's office conducted an investigation of Bates after Hurd notified Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley about the requests and shared recorded conversations.

Bates, who has been involved in civil lawsuits against the department and had previously been suspended from his duties, testified he felt administrators from the sheriff's office were out to get him, and he said Sheriff Duane Kaley used his arrest for publicity.

"The sheriff was probably frothing at the mouth when this came along," he said.

Bates also said he would have paid Hurd "a whole lot more money" than $180 if he had bribed her.

Assistant prosecuting attorney Eugene Muldowney told jurors during closing arguments Bates' recorded instructions for Hurd "make it clear he was telling the deputy to commit a crime.

"The tapes don't lie," Muldowney said.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.