Trial date set for former IPD officer
Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 12, 2023
Case will be heard in May
A trial date has been set for a former Ironton Police Department officer accused of possessing 19 grams of methamphetamine.
The trial is set for May 1-3 in the Lawrence County Common Pleas Court for Bradley Spoljaric, who has been indicted on two counts, second-degree felony aggravated possession of Schedule I drug and third-degree felony tampering with evidence.
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Because he is a police officer who has worked with the prosecutor’s office and testified in local court cases, local court officials recused themselves and the state has appointed a prosecutor and a judge so there is no conflict of interest.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will be prosecuting the case instead of the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and, in December, the Ohio Supreme Court appointed L. Alan Goldsberry, a retired judge from the Athens County Court of the Common Pleas, general and domestic relations division, to hear the case after Judge Andrew Ballard recused himself.
Spoljaric, who had been an IPD officer since April 2020 and was a sergeant since July 2021, was arrested on July 27, 2022, after an investigation by the IPD. He resigned from the force on Aug. 4, 2022.
The investigation into Spoljaric started by the Ironton Police Department on July 27.
A deputy was passing and saw a physical fight between Spoljaric and his wife and the deputy called it into the police. According to the court document, Samantha Spoljaric said “she wouldn’t write out a statement or sign an affidavit and also told officers that she would not cooperate with an investigation.”
During a search of the house, according to court documents, detectives found that Spoljaric had 19 grams of methamphetamine that he said was given to him by a private citizen and that he hid in a box in his bedroom rather than turning it in to the IPD for investigation.
His case went to Ironton Municipal Court and on Aug. 8, Spoljaric waived his right to a preliminary hearing and the matter was sent to the grand jury to determine if there was enough evidence to pursue the case. The grand jury returned with two counts, second-degree felony aggravated possession of Schedule I drug and third-degree felony tampering with evidence.
Spoljaric remains out on bond.