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Trial for trustee pushed to November

Man faces theft, forgery allegations

A trial for a Mad River Twp. trustee indicted on charges of theft and forgery was delayed to allow more time to review potential evidence in the case.

Brad K. Zerkle, of 590 Neal Road, was indicted earlier this year on two counts of theft in office and one count of forgery. The case was scheduled to go to trial this week but will likely be scheduled scheduled for November, said John Paul Rion, Zerkle’s attorney. No specific dates have been set.

According to Zerkle’s indictment, the forgery charge was related to a reimbursement to the township for medical insurance. Court records show Zerkle’s defense hired an expert witness to analyze handwriting samples in the case. The writing sample Zerkle’s defense sought from a previous employer has been provided and will be forwarded to the state for additional analysis.

A journal entry filed by visiting Judge David Faulkner in Champaign County Common Pleas Court showed the court determined there was reasonable cause to delay the trial, and prosecutors also had no objection to the continuance.

Rion said the handwriting sample is a significant piece of evidence in the case.

The theft charge in the case involved gasoline owned by the township, but Rion has previously said the township has a gas tank that many township staff members have access to. Rion has said evidence will show his client did not improperly take gas, and he said the tank was poorly maintained and showed incorrect readings.

Prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office are handling the case and confirmed the trial was delayed but declined to provide further comment.

Zerkle is seeking re-election this fall as a trustee in Mad River Twp. He is one of nine candidates seeking two available seats as a township trustee in November.

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