GREENVILLE – The former mayor of Pitsburg, Anthony “Tony” Spires, appeared in Darke County Common Pleas Court Tuesday to enter a change of plea on several felony counts against him. Spires had been scheduled to begin a jury trial Tuesday on the charges.
Spires was arraigned in June 2015, entering not guilty pleas to one count of theft from an elderly person, a third-degree felony, and six counts of forgery, also third-degree felonies.
As part of the plea negotiation, the theft charge was dismissed and the protected class (elderly) element was eliminated from the forgery charges to become a fourth-degree felony crime. Spires entered a no-contest plea to the six fourth-degree felony forgery counts.
Breaden explained that the no-contest plea was being submitted instead of a guilty plea
“The no-contest plea is being given simply so we are not admitting liability in a subsequent civil case,” Breaden said.”
Spires, who resigned from his position as mayor of Pitsburg in April 2015 citing “health and personal reasons,” remains free under supervision during the pre-sentence investigation. Sentencing is scheduled for March 21 at 9 a.m.
According to his indictment, Spires is accused of stealing a total of $28,103.81 from David McKibben, Dean Myers, Donald Leis, Rolland Mahaffey, Charles Didier and Karl Keller, all of whom are older than 65, and therefore, in the protected elderly class, with each incident in an amount exceeding $7,500.
The indictment states theft was carried out by means of forging the writing of Kelly P. Bergeron on multiple promissory notes, from Sept. 6, 2012, through April 9, 2013, hence the six separate charges of forgery.
Darke County Prosecutor R. Kelly Ormsby III said he and defense attorney Randall Breaden disagreed on the amount of restitution, with the state placing the figure at $28,103.81 and the defense stating the amount should be $22,643.91. The state and defense agreed on a recommendation of community control sanctions, plus restitution.
Although the mutually-agreed-upon recommendation is usually honored by the court, Spires is subject to a maximum sentence of 18 months of incarceration and $5,000 in fines on each of the six counts against him.
Spires was listed as chief executive officer of SPI (or SPI Scanning) LLC, based in Humble, Texas, which purportedly provided 24-hour cardiac monitoring services of patients for two weeks up to a month continuously to track arrhythmias.
Bergeron was the chief operating officer and chief financial officer of the company.