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Coffland To Appear In Court Tuesday

July 26, 2012
By JOSELYN KING - Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

A court date has been set for Belmont County Commissioner Matthew Coffland to face charges of assault on a peace officer and disorderly conduct while attending Jamboree In The Hills.

Coffland is to appear on those charges in Belmont County Eastern Division Court in Bellaire at 10 a.m. Tuesday - the same time and place he was scheduled for court on separate charges resulting from incidents at Coffland's Tiger Pub bar in Shadyside last spring.

The charges resulting from JITH were filed in Western Division Court in St. Clairsville, but they now will be heard in Eastern Division Court on Tuesday when visiting court officers will be present.

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Because Coffland is a county official, all three Belmont County judges have recused themselves from his cases. Monroe County Judge James Peters has been appointed to hear all the charges, and attorney Thomas Hampton will serve as special prosecutor in both cases.

Charges filed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the enforcement arm for the Ohio Bureau of Liquor Control, state Coffland threw a full "can or bottle" containing an "unknown fluid" at a liquor control agent Friday while at the JITH venue in Morristown. The bottle struck the agent in the head, and the liquid splashed other agents, according to the citation.

He was charged late Friday with assault on a peace officer and disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

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

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