The Ohio Highway Patrol has confirmed that it has opened up a felony criminal investigation against soon-to-be former Robert Mecklenborg’s obtaining a drivers’ license after falsely reporting that he had no pending violations in this or any other State as we first exclusively reported back on July 14th.
Mecklenborg is being investigated for a potential violation under Ohio’s tampering with records statute which makes it a third-degree felony to knowingly, with the purpose to defraud, falsify a record kept by the State government. (See, R.C. 2913.42(B)(4)).
Punishment of a third-degree felony could be one to five years under R.C. 2929.14(A)(3). However, prison is not presumed, and Mecklenborg has not yet been indicted on any felony charges.
What’s interesting about the Patrol’s involvement is that it appears it didn’t get involved into being began asking them if they were going to investigate. On July 19th, the Ohio Department of Public Safety was asked to produce any public records showing what, if anything, the agency was doing to investigate Mecklenborg for concealing the existence of his pending DUI charge (with the mandatory license suspension already in place) when he renewed his Ohio drivers’ license.
On July 25th, an e-mail between the Ohio Patrol’s Office of Special Operations and Cincinnati Operations office in West Chester showed that around the same time the public records request came in, the Patrol sent word to Cincinnati to investigate. An investigation was not formally opened until the 25th when the Patrol office in Cincinnati received information from the Columbus office about the case.
So, again, here’s the timeline:
- July 14th: We initially reported the false information Mecklenborg supplied the BMV to get his driver’s licensed renewed;
- July 19th: The Ohio Department of Public Safety gets their first public records request asking for evidence to see if the Patrol has begun an investigation into Mecklenborg;
- Same week: The Patrol’s Special Operations office in Columbus discusses with the Cincinnati Operations office that they should, you know, probably open an investigation into Mecklenborg.
- July 22: The Cincinnati office receives information in the mail from the Columbus office concerning Mecklenborg.
- July 25: The Cincinnati office formally opens a third-degree felony investigation against Mecklenborg.
- July 29: The Ohio Department of Public Safety produces the Cincinnati’s office report documenting that it is now investigating Mecklenborg in response to the July 19th public records request (not by us, but to someone else) who was demanding proof the that Ohio Department of Public Safety was investigation Mecklenborg for supplying false information to get his licensed renewed.
It’s all fixed now!
But not for Ohio House Republicans who have had to announce that their voter I.D. bill is legislatively dead… what with the sponsor being investigate for driver’s license fraud and all…