Coffland pre-trial to be scheduled
BELLAIRE – Attorneys met briefly Tuesday to review the case of Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland, facing three misdemeanour charges along with his son, Matthew B. Coffland.
They are charged with 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 others 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.
Special Prosecutor Tom Hampton represented the state, Kevin Flanagan represented the younger Coffland, and Tom Myers was present representing the elder Coffland. Visiting Judge James Peters presided.
A second telephone conference was set for Dec. 18 to schedule trial dates for the charges.
The charges stem from an incident at Coffland’s Shadyside bar April 1. According to Ohio Investigative Unit agents, they entered the establishment shortly before 2 a.m. and and began checking identification.
Coffland spoke with the agents, then instructed an employee to announce the agents’ presence and close the bar early.
The proceedings were delayed when Coffland faced felony charges of assaulting a peace officer during Jamboree in the Hills, when he was accused of striking an agent with a thrown beer can. He was acquitted Oct. 19.
DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleader online.com