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View Sample Pages : Kokomo Tribune, February 16, 1994

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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - February 16, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Vol 143 No 164 KOKOMO itf rvvnaeu tnyv Kokomo Ind Wednesday Feb 16 1994 50 cents Hearing set for Thursday A change of plea hearing has been set for Thursday morning in Howard Circuit Court for the for mer superintendent of Kokomo Center School Corp But no information on what might be discussed at that hearing was being given on the case of Larry Homer who faces 11 theft and conflict of interestrelated charges Special Judge Douglas Morton said the parties involved in the case requested that a change of Bea hearing be scheduled for orner Asked whether Homer would change his innocent plea on the charges to guilty during the hear ing Morton said Thats what I believe to be the case right now But I dont know Ill walk in Cir cuit Court and get educated on this just like everyone Virginia Daugherty Howard Circuit Court reporter said the hearing has been scheduled for 8 Thursday in that court Horner 48 1223 Gleneagles Drive is charged with two counts of conflict of interest four counts of aiding inducing or causing theft one count of conspiracy to commit theft and one count of theftreceiving stolen property all Class D felonies He also faces three Class A misdemeanor offi cial misconduct counts As superintendent he is accused of being a part in school officials receiving extra non school boardapproved pay Also he is charged with purchasing a boat with school officials and rep resentatives of a computer compa ny 16 days after KokomoCenter approved ing million in equipment from that cprripahy in 1990 Horner is currently scheduled for trial with another of the crimi nally charged administrators Lyle Mitschelen director of facili ties and grounds in Circuit Court March 15 Solemn service Held by her mother Darlene Renie monthold Jessica Renie received ashes from the Rev Maurice Miller this morning during services at St Patrick Catholic Church The ceremony designed to remind the faithful of their mortality is per formed on Ash Wednesday the beginning of the Lenten season The 40day season cul minates with the celebration of Easter Tribune photo by Brian Reynolds Maughmer releases report Inside Business Classified Dr Local News of Part four of a series on church growth is on Page 4 PRINTED WITH SOY INK Japan reacts coolly to charges by TOKYO AP Wary of inflam ing tensions Japan reacted coolly today to charges that it broke promises to open its cellular phone market the first volley in what could be a series of punitive actions on trade Chief government spokesman Masayoshi Takemura said Tokyo would wait for a decision on sanctions before responding to the trade representatives announcement Tuesday that he believed Japan had failed to fulfill a 1989 pact to give Motorola Inc access to the cellular phone mar ket Within 30 days the United States will publish a list of Japan ese products that could be subject to punitive tariffs of up to 100 per cent if the dispute isnt resolved Takemura said Tokyo believed it had fulfilled its part of the bar gain We are concerned about the latest he told Japanese reporters We expect them to act They say Tokyo is studying its options which so far appear limit ed to appealing to the world trade body the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade By MIKE PALUCK Tribune staff writer An eightmonth investigation by a special prosecutor has cleared Howard County Prosecu tor James D Andrews and his office of alleged wrongdoing in the cases of five current or former criminally charged KokomoCen ter School Corp officials Although the report by Cass County Prosecutor Richard A Maughmer says he found no ongoing criminal activity within Andrews office Indiana State Police reports filed along with it point to noncompliance in some areas that are said to be covered in an ongoing audit by the State Board of Accounts But the areas of noncompliance are not of a criminal nature according to reports filed by a state police investigator Last year attorneys for Larry Horner Lyle Mitschelen Patricia Hamacher Charles Lane and Larry Foster filed petitions and motions which sought the removal of Andrews and his staff from their cases for alleged crimes ranging from the theft of pretrial diversion funds to disclosure of grandjury testimony The defense attorneys claimed that the allegations they raised brought into question Andrews impartiality and his ability to serve as a prosecutor They said even if the prosecutors alleged actions were not improper per they presented the appear ance of impropriety such that he and all members of his office should be disqualified from the prosecution of the KokomoCen ter cases After hearings the defense attorneys wanted Special Douglas B Mortonibappoirit a special prosecutor to handle the KokomoCenter theftrelated cases June 18 after filing motions which refuted the allegations of the defense attorneys Andrews asked Superior Court 3 Judge Randy G Hainlen to appoint a special prosecutor to probe the charges raised by the defense attorneys In appointing Maugh mer Hainlen stressed that the action was a separate entity from the criminal cases pending against seven KokomoCenter officials in Howard Circuit Court Hainlen explained that Maugh mer could only investigate the issues that were raised by the defense attorneys in their motions and petitions for a special prose cutor Maughmer who conducted the investigation with the help of the Indiana State Police and the State Board of Accounts filed his report Tuesday in Hainlens office Hainlen noted that once Maugh mer was appointed it was up to the special prosecutor to decide how he wanted to proceed and apparently he has reached the conclusion that the allegations are I believe his phrase was without so that would close the matter as far as Im Hainlen said Tuesday afternoon Andrews said of the report Well obvious ly I didnt believe that there was any criminal activity on my part or the part of anybody on my staff But based on all of the alle gations thats what I thought was the appropriate thing to do was to have someone investigate Last year Special Judge Morton denied all defense motions which sought to have Andrews and his staff removed from the cases of the five KokomoCenter officials In his report to Hainlen Maugh mer said he believed that a thor ough investigation of Andrews office had been conducted As a result of the investigation we have concluded that there is no ongoing criminal activity and no criminal activity has been com mitted in the past by the Prosecut ing Attorney of Howard County or individuals in his office The scope of our investigation initially included numerous affidavits and pleadings which were filed in the Howard Circuit Court in what I characterize as the school Those accusations some even made under oath proved to be without The report submitted to Hainlen includes supplemental state police reports that were filed during the course of the investigation by Sgt Land of the Indiana State Police In a report dated Jan 7 Land refers to a meeting he had with Maughmer and Gary Roberts of the State Board of Accounts According to the report Roberts was conducting an audit of Andrews office as part of an over all auditofHoward Countys finances During the audit Land report ed several items were found to be in noncompliance of various state statutes When asked if any of this activity was of a criminal nature and against criminal statutes Mr Roberts advised that no criminal statutes to his knowl edge were Officials also probed an allega tion that Gary Ashenfelter an investigator for the prosecutors office was paid from pretrial diversion funds told us that no funds from this pro gram went to Gary Lands report says Alleged violations within the pretrial diversion program used by the prosecutors office cited but these violations hold no criminal the report goes on to say Land also adds in the Jan 7 report that Several other statute violations were cited by the State Board of Accounts and are listed in their audit results and com ments The attached audit report is not the final draft and is not to be Please see Page 12 Skater tumbles on ice HAMAR Norway AP German figure skater Mandy Wotzel flopped chestfirst on the ice and bloodied her chin dyring the Olympic pairs competition Her partner Ingo Steuer came her side gathered her up in his arms ancTcarried her off the ice Tuesday night She later received several stitches a German team official said Unable to complete their routine the pair had to with draw from the competition Wotzel was skating in front of Steuer when she caught her toe pick on the ice and pitched for ward She hit the ice so hard her chin bounced off the surface She grabbed her midsection and then her chin after seeing blood Steuer paced looking dazed as she was taken away for treat ment The pair were in eighth place after Sunday nights technical program and were in the middle of their free skate when Wotzel trijped German figure skater Mandy Wotzel hits the ice during Olympic her partner Ingo Steuer carries ice Wotzel off of th AP photo ;