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Salem funeral director facing charges for bribery

LISBON — A local funeral director is facing a third-degree felony attempted bribery charge after allegedly attempting to gain favor with County Municipal Court Judge Timothy McNicol.

Robert M. Greenisen, 46, King Road, Salem, appeared for arraignment in county Municipal Court on Monday following his arrest by the Columbiana County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.

According to the charges, on April 14, deputies were called to investigate after an envelope was found in the night drop box addressed to Judge Tim McNicol. Inside the envelope was reportedly $500 in $20 bills taped with green masking tape and a typed letter address to “your honor” and asking for consideration for Greenisen, who was referred to in the third-person.

Investigators with the sheriff’s office reviewed security cameras from the night the envelope was left. Among the usual law enforcement vehicles which utilize that drop box, was only one vehicle that was not law enforcement — a dark blue, Ram Tradesman van with distinguishing features.

Deputies obtained a search warrant and reportedly found an identical van at the Arbaugh-Pearce-Greenisen Funeral Home, where Greenisen is employed, and found the letter on his computer in his office.

Greenisen reportedly confessed to deputies.

Greenisen had been scheduled for a pretrial before McNicol on April 18 on charges of OVI second offense, OVI refusal with prior within 20 years and driving under suspension, charges stemming from him allegedly driving while intoxicated on Oct. 3, 2021.

Stating that he did not want any appearance of impropriety, McNicol canceled the pretrial hearing connected to the driving offenses and recused himself from the case.

Judge David Stucki, a visiting judge from Stark County, has been called to handle both cases. A May 2 preliminary hearing was set on the attempted bribery charge. If convicted of a third-degree felony, Greenisen could face up to three years in prison and a $15,000 fine.

His bond has been set at $15,000 cash or surety, which he reportedly posted on Sunday. He appeared for arraignment Monday morning before Judge Katelyn Dickey and indicated he will hire defense attorney Chris Amato.

A June 29 pretrial has now been set before Stucki in the OVI-related case. The first-degree misdemeanor case is punishable by up to six months in the county jail on each count.

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