Tallmadge Parks and Recreation Manager David Cooper pleads guilty to one count of trespassing

Prosecution withdraws charges for other six counts of misdemeanor trespassing in exchange for guilty plea.

by Holly Schoenstein | Reporter Published:

Updated Aug. 28, 2014, 10:45 a.m.

Stow — David Cooper, the city of Tallmadge’s manager of Parks and Recreation, accepted a plea bargain just minutes before his jury trial was scheduled to begin Wednesday in Stow Municipal Court.

Special prosecutor Myra Staresina Severyn told the Express the offer for the plea bargain was made after the seven criminal fourth-degree misdemeanor trespassing charges were brought, but it wasn't until the morning of the jury trial that Cooper accepted it.

"I think all parties felt that [the plea bargain] was a reasonable resolution," she said.

"It is a very typical response to multiple charges like this for a first-time offender," she added later.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com
Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

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Updated Aug. 27, 2014, 4:35 p.m.

Stow — The city of Tallmadge plans to look for a replacement for Parks and Recreation Manager David W. Cooper as soon as possible, according to Law Director Megan Raber.

In an email to the Express, she said the city hasn't received formal notice of Cooper's "method of separation" from the city, which she and Cooper's attorney, Kevin Breen, said is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Raber declined further comment on Cooper's criminal misdemeanor trespassing case as she wasn't the prosecuting attorney.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com
Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

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Stow — David Cooper, the city of Tallmadge’s manager of Parks and Recreation, pleaded guilty to one of the seven counts of fourth-degree misdemeanor criminal trespassing during his jury trial at Stow Municipal Court this morning.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the city withdrew the charges for the other six counts of trespassing that are a result of Summa Rehabilitation Service's allegations that Cooper entered restricted areas of the Tallmadge Recreation Center last March after his supervisors at the city repeatedly ordered him not to. Cooper also agrees to pay the costs associated with the dismissed charges.
Judge Kim Hoover has scheduled Cooper’s sentencing for Sept. 29. Fourth-degree misdemeanor trespassing charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine, in addition to court costs.
Neither Myra Staresina Severyn, the special prosecutor handling the case on behalf of the city, nor Megan Raber, law director for the city, immediately returned phone calls for comment.
Cooper’s attorney, Kevin Breen of Fairlawn, says the agreement between the prosecution and his client was made after “considerable discussion.”
“We thought this is a sensible resolution to the situation, and the prosecution apparently did as well,” he says.
Breen tells the Express that Cooper, 55, plans on announcing his retirement from the city Sept. 1.
Cooper has worked in the field of recreation for 31 years, with 25 of those in the public sector, Breen says.
“He has enjoyed his service at Tallmadge. I think that it was a mutually enjoyable experience. He just believes it’s time to move on,” Breen says.
Continue to check tallmadgeexpress.com for more on this developing story.

For more about Cooper's case, read the Express' previous coverage:

Tallmadge parks and recreation manager David Cooper pleads not guilty to trespassing charges, awaits June 3 jury trial

Tallmadge Parks and Recreation Manager David Cooper's criminal trespassing jury trial scheduled for July 16

Tallmadge Parks and Recreation Manager David Cooper's criminal trespassing jury trial is continued
Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com
Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

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