Tressel Tipster Jailed Over Traffic Ticket Dispute
A lawyer known for sharing a tip with former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel that prompted an NCAA investigation was behind bars Friday.
Franklin County Municipal Court Judge Scott Vanderkarr revoked Chris Cicero’s bond and charged him with contempt of court after allegations that he lied about a deal with prosecutors to keep a traffic ticket off his record, 10TV’s Jessa Goddard reported.
“It’s starting to look very much like there’s been a fraud perpetrated on the court,” Vanderkarr said.
Cicero did not appear for his traffic ticket-related hearing on Thursday but arrived at the court later in the day after a warrant was issued.
Cicero told officials he did not appear because he had reached a plea deal with a prosecutor from the Columbus City Attorney’s Office, Goddard reported.
On Friday, Cicero was asked who gave him the deal, and Cicero named a prosecutor who had left the attorney’s office for a job in a private practice, Goddard reported.
Columbus Chief Prosecutor Lara Baker said that no deal was ever made.
“Did you call him? Did you go in person to see him? How did you talk with Mr. Shroy?” Vanderkarr asked Cicero in court Friday.
Cicero did not answer the judge, Goddard reported.
Vanderkarr said that Cicero made conflicting statements to the court.
“This court has some grave concerns about where we stand, when at least my bailiff, as an officer of the court, is being told one day there was an offer and one day there wasn’t,” Vanderkarr said.
Vanderkarr continued the case and said that he wanted to hear from the former prosecutor from whom Cicero said he received the deal.
When Cicero was initially pulled over March 21, he was charged with speeding for going 72 in a 50-miles per-hour zone. The charge was amended, and Cicero was charged with having a prohibited number of headlights on his vehicle, Goddard reported.
Cicero is well known for sending e-mails which triggered a massive NCAA investigation that rocked the Ohio State football program and resulted in the resignation of coach Jim Tressel.
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