Stow -- David Cooper, the city of Tallmadge's manager of Parks and Recreation, pleaded guilty to one of the seven counts of criminal misdemeanor trespassing during his jury trial at Stow Municipal Court this morning.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the city withdrew charges for the other six counts of criminal trespassing that are a result of its 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. 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 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.
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