By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A judge erased a misdemeanor conviction from former assistant Cincinnati police chief Ron Twitty's criminal record Wednesday.
Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Beth Myers expunged Twitty's conviction for lying to police during an investigation in 2002.
In making her decision, Myers said Twitty's right to privacy outweighed the public's right to know about his past.
As part of a plea agreement, Twitty pleaded no contest to the charge and agreed to leave the police department to end the criminal case against him over damage to his city-owned car. At the time he stepped down, Twitty was the highest-ranking African-American officer in the police department.
Myers cited past cases in which officers charged with crimes more serious than Twitty's had their records sealed. And, she said, Twitty's case had been repeatedly covered in the media and the information already reported remains in the public domain.
Twitty was not present during the short hearing, but said later he was pleased.
"I didn't ask for special treatment, just what everyone else does," he said.
In 2003, 2221 records were sealed in Hamilton County Court -- the most in the past five years, according to statistics from the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Office.
Twitty said if he could have afforded the pay the legal fees to take the case to trial in 2002, he would have fought the charges.
"But if I won I would have been financially ruined, if I lost I would have been financially ruined," he said. "I was only going to stay (on the department) two more years anyway."
Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen fought the expungement, saying the public has a right to know about Twitty's past. He declined comment on Myers' decision.
A clean record will allow Twitty to seek another law enforcement job, if he chooses.
He said he has been offered jobs in law enforcement, but declined to name any departments that have contacted him. He said he's considering several options, again declining to provide details.
Twitty said that whatever his future career holds, he will continue to work to be a prominent presence in burgeoning grassroots crime-fighting efforts in Cincinnati neighborhoods.
Twitty vowed to get involved in such efforts after his stepson was shot to death in Bond Hill.
Gov. Taft stresses jobs, tax overhaul
Businesses liked tone, but wonder how it can be done
UC transplant doc receives new liver
Oxford's WOXY Net-only after sale
Summit students back at school
Summit pupils feel right at home
Twitty's conviction erased from the record
IN THE TRISTATE
One hurt in plant fire in Madison Township
Fest plans to reclaim 'Cinco'
Columbia Twp. administrator renewed
Expulsions will be fewer
Dute to be retried on charges of pandering
Eastern corridor transit plans open for discussion
Motive will determine sentencing in slaying
Felicity library observes 10th year
Junk cars, blaring stereos to be cited by Fairfield cops
Last funds hurdle cleared
Faith better than being cool, Bengals' Kitna tells students
Lakota lists cutbacks if levy fails
Middletown schools to trim
Warren deputy released on bond in drug case
Judge: Allen must testify
Norwood rejects contract negotiated for firefighters
Business adviser to Haitians uses what he learned
Public safety briefs
Lynch opposes police hiring
District head is award winner
Hall pass or not, this baby's coming
Money reallocated to veterans service
Volunteers may oversee W. Chester money issues
Yard sign restriction challenged in court
Bronson: Adult battles could ruin kids' games
Crowley: Ruby saves his first team for late-night meal
Good Things Happening
Burlington seeks sidewalk help
Church's bank accounts investigated
NKU thrilled with budget