ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Lawyer Thomas Hampton has been named special prosecutor for the assault on a peace officer case involving Belmont County Commissioner Matthew D. Coffland, employees at Belmont County Western Division Court said Tuesday.
A visiting judge, though, has yet to be appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court, and a court date has yet to be set, according to court officials.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety filed its citations against Coffland with Western Court, and it details the circumstances surrounding Coffland's arrest Friday while attending Jamboree In The Hills near Morristown. The Ohio Department of Public Safety serves as the enforcement arm for the Ohio Bureau of Liquor Control, and Coffland is charged with assaulting one of its agents on duty at JITH, as well as with disorderly conduct while intoxicated.
The complaint states that at 9:45 p.m. Friday, Coffland did "knowingly cause or attempt to cause physical harm to another" when he "threw a full bottle or can, ... splashing other agents with an unknown fluid."
The agent's name listed on the citation is D. Germany, who filed the charge of assault on a peace officer against Coffland.
The second citation, charging Coffland with disorderly conduct while intoxicated, states that Coffland did "unlawfully while voluntarily intoxicated in a public place, engage in conduct likely to be offensive or cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to a person of ordinary sensibilities." This is conduct the offender, "if he were not intoxicated, should know is likely to have effects on others," the citation states.
Coffland posted a $5,000 bond on the assault on a peace officer charge and another $175 for the disorderly conduct offense, the court documents indicate.
Liquor control agents previously had filed unrelated legal action against Coffland, 54, and his son, Matthew B. Coffland, 29, resulting from incidents at Coffland's Tiger Pub bar in Shadyside last spring.
Coffland last week said the agents entered the bar just before 2 a.m. April 1 and began asking patrons for identification. He said he announced to patrons that liquor control agents were present, and that he was closing the bar before the normal 2:20 a.m. time.
Agents charged the Cofflands each with three offenses: knowingly or recklessly hindering or obstructing an agent or employee of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control; knowingly - with purpose to hinder the discovery, apprehension, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another for a crime - warning other persons of impending discovery or apprehension; and knowingly and without privilege - with the purpose to prevent, obstruct or delay the performance by a public official of an authorized act - performing an act that hampered or impeded a public official in the performance of the public official's duties.
Coffland is set to appear in Eastern Division Court in Bellaire on the charges related to his bar at 10 a.m. July 31. Monroe County Judge James Peters will hear the case, with Hampton as the special prosecutor.