The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 8, 2013

Deputy must repay county

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON —  A veteran Ashtabula County sheriff’s deputy will lose several days of wages after pleading guilty to a 2012 traffic offense in Ashtabula Municipal Court, said Sheriff William Johnson.

Julius J. Petro Sr. of Ashtabula, who last month pleaded guilty to a charge of physical control of a vehicle, must reimburse the county wages he received while serving a 15-day paid administrative leave last year, Johnson said Thursday. Petro was also fined $595 by the court, according to records.

Petro was originally charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence and scheduled to stand trial before Judge Albert Camplese on Feb. 19. On that date, Petro pleaded guilty to an amended and reduced charge of physical control of a vehicle, according to court records. Two other traffic charges were dismissed.

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers cited Petro on Sept. 9, after a traffic stop around 2:30 a.m. on Route 531 in Saybrook Township. A field sobriety test was given and a subsequent test for alcohol content revealed a level just above the state limit, troopers said. Petro was off-duty at the time.

Petro, who has worked more than 25 years as a deputy, primarily serves legal papers for the county and is not a road deputy, Johnson has said. The county’s contract with deputies has a role in stipulating the length of an administrative leave, he said.

“We get treated the same as everybody else,” he said.