NEWARK — Criminal charges against former village of Utica clerk/treasurer William Dunlap were dismissed in Licking County Court of Common Pleas recently at the request of Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Brian Waltz. Dunlap had been indicted in November 2011 on charges of theft in office resulting from unsupported expenditures totaling $38,815 while in office.
Judge David Branstool granted a motion to dismiss the case made by Waltz on the grounds that Dunlap, age 84, is currently in a nursing home in Akron and was determined unable to attend the trial due to failing health. A doctor’s report obtained by the prosecutor’s office confirmed Dunlap’s health condition, prompting the decision to dismiss the case.
Branstool stated that the case was “dismissed without prejudice,” meaning that the case could be brought back if Dunlap’s health was to improve enough that he was able to attend a trial. “He does have the constitutional right to be able to attend trial,” said Branstool.
“I was disappointed that we heard secondhand and weren’t in the loop as far as the motion to dismiss,” said Utica Mayor Lester Grennell, who learned of the dismissal by following the case through the court’s online reports. Grennell said that a total of $10,000 has already been awarded the village from Dunlap’s bonding company. A civil case may still be pursued by the village of Utica for further restitution but may have to wait for further developments regarding Dunlap’s health.
Numerous calls were unreturned from attorney Sarah Light who is the legal representative for the village. A receptionist at the office of Hite and Heath Attorneys in Utica said that Light, “has no comment on the matter.”