Mershon’s sues state for damaging business

Investigators raided high-end car business in May but haven’t filed any charges.


A high-end local auto dealer is suing the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the State Highway Patrol, claiming his business and reputation have been damaged by their investigation.

The highway patrol’s theft unit raided Mershon’s World of Cars, at 201 E. North St., in May after discovering a Vehicle Identification Number attached to two vehicles sold from the classic car dealer.

No charges have been filed to this date.

After searching the entire facility, the highway patrol confiscated two cars worth a total of $60,000, as well as two VIN plates and six data data trim tags, according to documents.

Tampered VIN numbers, as well as duplicate ones, indicate that a car may have been stolen, according to the highway patrol.

Owner Dan Mershon said Friday that he would not comment on the lawsuit or investigation until it’s over, and his attorney is out of the office because of surgery.

But in documents filed in Clark County Common Pleas Court, Mershon says Public Safety and the highway patrol’s actions “have harmed or will harm (Mershon’s) business relationships, will place a cloud upon the motor vehicle titles and will disregard both Ohio statutory law and Ohio case precedent.”

Besides preventing sale of the two vehicles confiscated, the investigation casts a shadow on the validity of the business’ vehicles.

Mershon’s — which celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2011 — sells about 200 cars a year, most of which to overseas customers. The cars range in price from $60,000 to more than $200,000.

Mershon is asking the court to issue a declaratory judgment that he owns the seized vehicles and that the highway patrol is improperly keeping them, an order requiring the vehicles to be returned to Mershon and an injunction against anyone acting with in Department of Public Safety or highway patrol.

Highway Patrol officials said they could not comment on the lawsuit.

As for the investigation, it is still open and there is no timeline on when it will be complete, according to the highway patrol communications office. The two cars confiscated — a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle and a 1965 Pontiac GTO — will not be returned until authorities finish looking at “irregularities” in the vehicles, said a highway patrol official.

While the highway patrol would not say why they took those vehicles eight months ago, in a previous interview Mershon said the Chevrolet had no identification number on the motor and the Pontiac’s identification number was illegible.

Investigators look for numbers that don’t match various points of VIN location, plates that seem lifted or have altered numbers or plates that use different rivets than the manufacturer, said Lt. Anne Ralston, public information officer for the highway patrol in a previous interview.

“People do tamper with VINs,” Ralston said then. “It’s probably less common than just someone stealing it as part of a crime, maybe they commit a crime and stole a vehicle to get away or a joyride.”

According to the highway patrol, incidences of car dealers selling stolen cars is very uncommon and generally happens maybe once or twice a year.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

Linkin Park cancels tour following death of Chester Bennington
Linkin Park cancels tour following death of Chester Bennington

Following the death of Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington, the rock band has canceled its upcoming tour. Concert promoter Live Nation issued a statement on Friday: The band’s U.S. tour to support new album “One More Light” was slated to kick off a summer run of arenas and amphitheaters with Machine Gun Kelly on July 27 in Boston...
Beyonce’s wax figure restyled and ‘adjusted’ after criticism 
Beyonce’s wax figure restyled and ‘adjusted’ after criticism 

Beyonce’s wax figure at Madame Tussauds in New York took a brief break and returned restyled and “adjusted” Friday after fans said it looked nothing like the star. The New York Times reported that the statue wasn’t on display Thursday afternoon. A museum representative would not answer questions about why the figure was...
Ohio Auditor: Withhold funding for giant online school
Ohio Auditor: Withhold funding for giant online school

State Auditor Dave Yost has asked the Ohio Department of Education to withhold “a significant portion” 2017-18 funding for the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT), the embattled online school at the center of multiple lawsuits over how many students attended the school. Yost doesn’t want the money paid until ECOT’s enrollment...
Judge denies UD’s motion to dismiss ‘hazing’ lawsuit
Judge denies UD’s motion to dismiss ‘hazing’ lawsuit

A visiting judge on Friday “denied in total” the University of Dayton’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging hazing brought by an ex-football player who said he suffered a brain injury after hard drinking during the 2014 “Mad Dogs” event for freshman team members. Judge Peter Handwork from Lucas County heard arguments...
Butler Tech moves ahead with rapid expansion plan
Butler Tech moves ahead with rapid expansion plan

The big changes at one of Ohio’s largest career school systems keep coming. Though it’s less than two years old, Butler Tech’s leading edge Bioscience Center in West Chester Township is already expanding its classroom space for the upcoming 2017-2018 school year. And school officials are moving on additional plans to add to the two-story...
More Stories