Parole Officer - Drug Charges

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Bonnie M. Wells

Drug Charges Against Parole Officer Dropped

By Brad Bauer,

An area parole officer will not be retried and is expected to return to his job after drug charges were dismissed Wednesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Jason Rhodes, 35, of 840 Brackenridge Road, Vincent, has been on paid administrative leave from the Athens County Adult Parole Authority since February, when he was accused of “doctor shopping” to get prescription drugs.

Rhodes previously worked in Washington County as a parole and juvenile probation officer.

In a December trial, a judge dismissed three counts against Rhodes saying there was not enough evidence presented. On the remaining two charges, a jury cleared Rhodes on one count but deadlocked 11-1 to acquit on the second count. A unanimous vote for conviction or acquittal is needed.

Because of the jury’s vote, Special Prosecutor Michael Spahr said Wednesday he would not retry the case, which was scheduled for this week.

“The likelihood of any conviction would have been very slim,” he said.

Charges against Rhodes were filed after he obtained and filled two prescriptions for anxiety drugs from different doctors. According to prosecutors, Rhodes failed to tell one doctor about the other — or the prescriptions. Also, Rhodes obtained a third prescription after he said he lost one of them.

Rhodes maintains he did nothing criminal and was held to a higher standard because he is an officer. He said he understands why he was held to such a level, but said the process has taken a toll on him.

“It’s been horrible, completely horrible for me, my family and friends,” Rhodes said. “This has been months and months of hell.”

Rhodes said he is anxious to get back to some sense of normalcy.

“Right now I’m just planning on going back to work,” Rhodes said. “I just need that official paperwork to get filed so I can get cleared.”

Too Bad Rush Limbaugh!!

Rush Limbaugh surrendered to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office in April 2006 after being charged with doctor shopping.

According to investigators, the 55-year-old Limbaugh bounced from doctor to doctor in a bid to secure multiple prescriptions for powerful painkillers like OxyContin.

In a settlement with Florida prosecutors, the felony case against the conservative radio star will be dropped in 18 months if Limbaugh continues to undergo addiction counseling and is not arrested again.

He also agreed to pay about $30,000 in fines and court costs.



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Bonnie M. Wells