The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

January 16, 2013

Geneva businessman’s case transferred to another court

JEFFERSON — Area businessman and founder of Spire Institute Ron Clutter’s misdemeanor criminal case has been transferred from Western County Court to Eastern County Court, as the now-retired judge Richard Stevens reclused himself from the proceedings.

The single charge of aggravated disorderly conduct with intoxication was transferred to Judge Robert Wynn’s docket, court records show, and a pretrial was held Tuesday.

Late last year Stevens made it clear he would transfer the case, as he “could not hear the case in clear conscience.”

Stevens, who maintains a private legal practice, said he provided legal representation to Clutter in the past and continues to offer services to Clutter and his family.

“I have been friends, family friends, with the Clutters for years and years,” Stevens said. “There was absolutely no question in my mind from the beginning of this case that I would step aside.”

Clutter, former owner of Nordic Air Inc., owner of the consulting firm Roni Lee LLC, and founder of Spire, is charged with aggravated disorderly conduct with intoxication after he was accused of screaming at a police officer and kicking a police cruiser at the Geneva-on-the-Lake Municipal Golf Course in July.

Clutter was detained and issued a citation, and then released on personal recognizance to a sober person, GOTL Police Chief Tim Bruckman said.

Aggravated disorderly conduct with intoxication is a fourth-degree minor misdemeanor charge, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

Clutter pleaded not guilty to the charge. The legal proceedings have included several pretrial hearings and Clutter was ordered to provide an alcohol assessment, court records show.

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