By COURIER STAFF
A former state patrol supervisor pleaded guilty Monday to theft in office and two other charges during a hearing in Hancock County Common Pleas Court.
Dean W. Laubacher of Findlay entered the pleas to theft in office, a fifth-degree felony, and to unauthorized use of property and dereliction of duty, both misdemeanors.
He will be sentenced Aug. 22 by Judge Reg Routson.
Laubacher, 50, was indicted last year for an employment-related crime that occurred while he was with the State Highway Patrol. He has since retired from the patrol.
The original charge was amended Monday to also include the two misdemeanor offenses. All the charges stem from a Nov. 15, 2015, incident in Findlay.
The unauthorized use of property offense involved his improper use of a state work computer.
The dereliction of duty charge resulted because he “recklessly failed” to perform his job.
Additional details of the offenses were not available in court documents Monday, and Special Prosecutor Daniel Kasaris of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office refused to comment after the hearing.
Laubacher has already agreed to make restitution of $2,894 on the theft in office count. He faces possible prison or jail time, and fines, when sentenced, but could also be placed on probation.
He has been free on bond since being indicted.
Kasaris told the court that Laubacher has already relinquished his peace officer certificate.
Laubacher is being represented by Toledo attorney Robert A. Miller, who declined comment Monday.
Laubacher joined the state patrol in 1987 as a cadet dispatcher and was assigned to the Findlay post after his graduation from the patrol academy.
He was transferred to the Lima post’s drug interdiction team in 1995, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1997. He later served as criminal patrol supervisor at the Findlay post and also worked at the Walbridge and Fremont patrol posts.
During his career, Laubacher earned three ACE awards for excellence in auto larceny enforcement; five certificates of recognition; two honors as traffic/drug interdiction team trooper of the year; and two criminal patrol awards.