Sunday, May 28, 2000

Complaints spark investigation of cemetery




By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Cincinnati Police raided a Northside cemetery Friday, searching for records they think will show illegal business practices.

        Police entered the offices of Wesleyan Cemetery, 4003 Colerain Ave., with a search warrant and left with business records.

        Cincinnati city attorneys said the search was conducted after complaints that officials of the 30-acre cemetery had not adequately maintained its grounds. City prosecutors also are investi gating whether the cemetery had established a financial endowment as required by state law to pay for upkeep.

        “We will be reviewing the records we found there and looking at bank records before determining what charges, if any, will be filed,” said Charles Rubenstein, the city's chief deputy prosecutor.

        Bob Merkel, president of Wesleyan Cemetery of Cincinnati Inc., said the cemetery is innocent of any wrongdoing.

        “They're picking on us. We have done nothing illegal,” Mr. Merkel said.

       



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