Former Police Chief Receives Suspended Sentence In Horse Theft

CANTON, Ohio (AP) - A former police chief in northeast Ohio says he's no horse thief. But he has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge in a dispute that dates to an auction last

Prosecutors say 61-year-old Dennis Meeks of Canton went to an auction in July and convinced an employee that he was picking up a horse for the man who bought it. Meeks says he paid cash for the horse but didn't get a receipt.

He says it was just getting too expensive to keep fighting the theft charge, so he took a deal that involves no jail time but requires him to return the 800 dollars that another man paid for
the horse.

Meeks has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor theft charge and has received a suspended 90-day sentence. Prosecutors dropped felony charges of theft and theft by deception.

Meeks was a Stark County sheriff's deputy from 1970 to 1977 and Jackson Township's first police chief from 1977 to 1981