Charges Filed Against Ex-State Attorney


The Franklin County prosecutor on Wednesday filed three misdemeanor charges against Joshua A. Engel, the former Ohio Department of Public Safety Chief Legal Counsel.

Engel worked for the Ohio Department of Public Safety for nearly three years until Director Tom Stickrath fired him last month.

Stickrath said that an investigation stemming from a canceled drug sting at the Ohio Governor's Residence turned up evidence that Engel had improperly intercepted e-mails involving the Ohio Inspector General.

Engel also allegedly intercepted the e-mails of reporters, ethics investigators and federal prosecutors, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.

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Engel was charged with three misdemeanors on Wednesday.  He could face a maximum of up to 90 days in prison and a $750 fine, according to the Franklin County prosecutor's office.

As part of a plea negotiation, Engel agreed to plead guilty to the charges for his conduct while working for the state, Aker reported.  His first court appearance was scheduled for Friday.

10 Investigates has learned Engel plans to share information about the involvement of other state officials as part of his plea deal. A previously sealed search warrant obtained by 10 Investigates revealed Engel has named other top state officials as having knowledge about the operation.

Engel told investigators that former Public Safety Directors Henry Guzman and Cathy Collins-Taylor had knowledge, according to the warrant. Collins-Taylor denied the allegation through her attorney.

Attempts by 10 Investigates to reach Guzman for comment were not successful.

The warrant also alleges that the governor's chief lawyer, Kent Markus, "may have" been told. Markus also denied having any knowledge of the activity. 

Gov. Ted Strickland said the following in reaction to Wednesday's developments:

"I believe that when you are in a place of public trust and you violate that trust, and you're willing to plead guilty, which is an admission of guilt, then you ought to be punished," Strickland said. 

Stay with 10TV News and refresh for additional information.

Previous Stories:

September 30, 2010:  Attorneys Allegedly Spied On E-Mails In Canceled Sting Investigation
September 30, 2010: State Computers Seized In Canceled Sting Probe
June 30, 2010: E-Mails Show Franklin Co. Prosecutor Wants To Investigate Canceled Drug Sting
June 29, 2010: Ohio Inmate Had 6 Beers At Governor's Residence
June 18, 2010: Ohio Inmates Segregated For Drinking
June 2, 1010: Senate Confirms Second Ohio Public Safety Pick
May 26, 2010: Strickland Appoints New Public Safety Director
May 25, 2010:  Ohio Senate Refuses Confirmation Of Collins-Taylor
May 25, 2010:  Ohio Senate Committee Votes Against Public Safety Director's Confirmation
May 20, 2010: Collins-Taylor Says She Had No Motive To Lie About Sting
May 19, 2010: Public Safety Director 'Offended' By Report Into Canceled Sting
May 14, 2010: Subpoenas Out, Confirmation Hearings Will Focus On Whether Public Safety Director Lied
May 13, 2010: Bill Introduced To Review Prisoner Work Program
May 11, 2010: Safety Director Denied Aborting Sting, Recordings Show
May 5, 2010: Strickland Asked To Suspend Inmate Program Where He Lives
April 29, 2010: Report: 'Political Embarrassment' Key Factor In Canceled Sting
April 28, 2010:  'No Holds Barred' Report Expected About Gov. Residence Incident
March 24, 2010:  Senate Hearings Continue On Canceled Drug Sting At Gov's Residence
March 22, 2010: Canceled Hearings On Drug Sting Will Continue
March 17, 2010: E-Mails Show Drug Sting May Have Been Stopped For Political Reasons
February 24, 2010: Cover Up Allegations Follow Canceled Drug Sting
February 23, 2010:  Concerns Linger About Alcohol, Inmates Inside Governor's Residence
February 17, 2010:  10 Investigates' Probe Prompts Senate Hearing
February 2, 2010:   Patrol Changes Investigation Involving Major 
February 1, 2010:   Ex-Colonel Wants Investigation Into Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 29, 2010:   Ohio Highway Patrol Official Ousted Over Alleged Gov. Residence Plot
January 28, 2010:   Strickland Confident How Patrol Handled Sting Outside His Mansion
January 27, 2010:   Woman At Center Of Alleged Drug Deal Governor's Mansion Explains Ordeal
January 26, 2010:   Patrol Tips Off Woman Suspected In Drug Deal At Governor's Mansion