Dog with College degree called to court
- Dog With College Degree Called to Court
Mar 1, 7:35 AM (ET)
FOSTORIA, Ohio (AP) - An attorney challenging the authority of the
city's police chief wants the department's police dog to appear in
court as an exhibit, because he says the dog and the chief have
criminal justice degrees from the same online school.
The issue gives "one pause, if not paws, for concern" about what
it takes to get the degrees from the school based in the Virgin
Islands, Gene Murray wrote in a court document filed Monday.
Murray is seeking to have a drug charge against a client dismissed
by arguing that police Chief John McGuire - who is accused of
lying on his job application - was not legally employed and had no
authority as an officer.
McGuire is to go on trial in March on charges of falsification and
tampering with records. A special prosecutor said McGuire lied on
his application and resume about his rank, position, duties,
responsibilities and salary in three of his previous jobs.
McGuire was hired as chief of this northwest Ohio city a year ago.
The union that represents Fostoria police officers and dispatchers
filed a lawsuit challenging McGuire's hiring.
Murray said asking that the police dog, Rocko, show up in court at
an evidence hearing is a key to discrediting McGuire, who took
part in a traffic stop and search in October that resulted in drug
possession charges against Clifford Green of Fostoria.
Both McGuire and Rocko, who is listed as John I. Rocko on his
diploma, are graduates of Concordia College and University,
according to copies of diplomas that are part of Murray's motion.
The court filing did not say how the attorney knows that diploma
is for the dog or how Rocko allegedly managed to enroll in the
"My client had absolutely nothing to do with any animal getting a
degree from an institution of higher learning," said McGuire's
attorney, Dean Henry. "The whole thing is bizarre."
He said the dog was with the department before McGuire began
Seneca County Prosecutor Ken Egbert said he will ask the judge to
deny the request and limit the hearing to matters that are
"I don't think it's necessary to bring the actual dog," Egbert
A date has not been set for the evidence hearing.
City leaders have said McGuire's hiring was not influenced by his
college degree, and any confusion about his background was
resolved during interviews.
"We've already been through all that," Safety Service Director
Bill Rains. "That was answered to our satisfaction."
Fostoria is about 35 miles southeast of Toledo.