Ex-officer wants charges dropped

Published 10:01 am Thursday, January 29, 2009

The attorney for a fired Ironton police officer has filed a motion, asking that charges be dropped against his client.

“What she did does not constitute a crime and even it was a crime, the state could not prove it, said Warren Morford, who represents Beth Rist.

He contended in his motion that a previous U.S. Supreme Court case held that a police officer’s statements in a civil matter can’t be used against them in a criminal proceeding. He said the woman who wrongly accepted the traffic ticket for which Rist was fired should also not be allowed to give evidence against Rist since she has already paid the ticket.

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“That should be a moot point,” Morford said.

Rist has a pretrial hearing today in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court before visiting Judge Fred Crow, of Meigs County.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., he is not concerned about Morford’s motion and is confident the case will go forward. Collier said he doesn’t need Rist’s statement to convict her.

“We have a lot of witnesses,” Collier said. “We don’t need her, period. This was a staged, fabricated crime made by a police officer who knows better.”