HR Strange But True!
March 08, 2007

Can you say "Background check"? If so, you're one up on the city of Fostoria, Ohio.

Fostoria Police Chief John McGuire is facing trial on charges that he falsified and tampered with his credentials when he applied for the chief's job. He also is a defendant in a civil action challenging his hiring that was filed by the union representing local police officers.

But the cherry on the kick-me sundae may be in court documents filed last month by an attorney seeking to have the drug charges against his client dismissed. The documents compare McGuire to the title character of "The Music Man," who wowed small town residents with his false credentials, and the papers contend that McGuire lacked legal authority to conduct a pat-down search of the attorney's client.

To top it off, attorney Gene Murray is attempting to subpoena Rocko, a town police dog, to appear in court as an exhibit in his client's case. Murray contends that the dog, under the name John I. Rocko, and the police chief both have degrees from the same online college in the Virgin Islands.

Transcripts show that the dog and McGuire had nearly identical courseloads, but that Rocko received an A+ in "Structure and Process of the American Court System" while McGuire got a B- in the same class, the Toledo Blade reported.

The two degrees from Concordia College and University give one "pause, if not paws, for concern" about what it takes to earn a degree from the school, Murray wrote.

It was not revealed who applied for and paid $499 to obtain Rocko's degree from the college, and Murray declined to speculate, the Blade reported.

Seneca County Prosecutor Ken Egbert Jr. said he would ask the court to deny Murray's motion, though he doesn't deny that McGuire faces some credibility issues if he is called to the stand in the drug case.

"While [the chief's] credibility is an issue, I think [Murray] is going kind of far afield in bringing in the dog," Egbert told the Blade, adding that other police officers were involved in the defendant's arrest.


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