The Columbus Dispatch reports today that the Ohio Highway Patrol is investigating the actions of the Ohio Investigative Unit, the Troy Police Department, and even Miami County Prosecutor Gary Nasal regarding the use of Haley Dawson’s driver license in an investigation. One of OHP’s duties is investigating possible criminal acts by state agencies.
The investigation will center on how the liquor agents, who enforce Ohioâ€™s alcohol-permit laws, came into possession of a womanâ€™s driverâ€™s license and how it was given to a confidential informant working for the Troy Police Department, patrol spokesman Lt. Rick Zwayer said.
Investigators “are going to look into those things,” Zwayer said. “Thatâ€™s part of a thorough and accurate investigation to look toward those leads, take them.”
In this post, I first discussed the situation, where the above-mentioned agencies employed Michelle Szuhay in an investigation of the Total Xposure club. She was paid $100 per night by the investigators to strip, while agents watched the club for liquor violations. Troy PD also set up an internet account to watch the show using the personal information of a dead man. I’ve not heard if his estate is pursuing any action.
The original investigation netted only misdemeanor charges against the club’s management, but the club ended up closing down, which was the intent of the prosecutor. However, Szuhay was charged with perjury and obstructing justice, due to her staying after hours and drinking with club employees. Those charges were dropped and tehn refiled; Szuhay has pled not guilty.
Nasal, who had helped coordinate the sting operation that eventually closed the Total Xposure nude dance club in late 2003, said he welcomed the investigation.
“I donâ€™t think that based upon the statute, there is a basis upon which to prosecute anybody that the mere ID was used,” Nasal said yesterday.
Nasal continues to point to a 2002 change to Ohio law that negates liability for identity theft if: “The person or entity using the personal identifying information is a law-enforcement agency . . . and is using the personal identifying information in a bona fide investigation.”
Nasal concluded that Haley Dawson, the woman whose identity was used, was not the victim of a crime.
“I donâ€™t think that what happened was right,” Nasal said. “What happened to this girl was wrong. Whether it was legal, it was wrong.”
If it was wrong, why did he let it go on?
It’s my understanding the the Department of Liquor Control came into possession of Dawson’s ID after she was charged with a liquor law violation some time ago. So while the OL number was certainly not valid, the address and social security number, if present, would have been valid (Ohio allows you to opt out of putting your SSN on your license.)
More as I hear it. This Google News search should help keep you up-to-date as well.