Disc jockey scammed charity cash to pay exotic dancers

Associated Press Published:

An investigation into the loss caused disc jockey Jerry Shirley, a drummer for the early 1970's group Humble Pie, to lose his position with rock 'n' roll station WNCX-FM.

Shirley pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of drug abuse as part of an agreement with prosecutors and police. He was charged after an investigation by police in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted.

Judge Anthony O. Calabrese Jr. of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court ordered a pre-sentence evaluation and set sentencing for Oct. 30.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor James Gutierrez recommended a sentence of probation, community service and drug treatment. Police said Shirley had been abusing a prescription painkiller.

Shirley, fired by WNCX in December, is seeking $10 million in a wrongful termination lawsuit he filed against the station in January.

The fund-raiser, "30 Days in the Hole," was an annual event Shirley ran at the station. In December, Shirley resided in a small trailer to encourage people to fill it with money and canned food that would go to the Salvation Army.

He told police he passed out and woke up to find the trailer trashed and money stolen from his wallet as well as the cash donation box. A station executive estimated last December that up to $600 may have been missing.

"The details of what happened to me that night are frightening and foggy at best," Shirley said. "I'm just grateful to the North Olmsted police for establishing who took the money and even more grateful that it has been returned to its rightful place. It's time to move on."

North Olmsted police Lt. Larry Mason said Wednesday two exotic dancers hired by Shirley for his entertainment in the trailer have agreed to make a combined $600 donation to the Salvation Army, and that Shirley would serve 150 hours of community service with the organization. Mason declined to identify the women.

Mason described the agreement as part of what he termed as a package to compensate for the lost money. Shirley never was charged with theft and the two dancers weren't charged with any crime.

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