Is a Nurse Employed by Hospital in a 'Position of Trust?'
State of Ohio v. Sally A. Massien, Case no. 2009-0825
9th District Court of Appeals (Summit County)
ISSUE: R.C. 2929.13 allows a trial court, at its discretion, to refer a first-time offender charged with a low-level drug offense to an intervention/rehabilitation program in lieu of imposing a conviction for the charged offense. If the defendant successfully completes the intervention in lieu of conviction (ILC) program and does not reoffend, the drug offense may be expunged (deleted) from the defendant's record. The statute specifies that certain offenders are not eligible for placement in an ILC program. One of those exceptions, set forth in R.C. 2929.13(B)(1)(d), bars from eligibility an offender who "held a public office or position of trust and the offense related to that office or position." In this case, the Court is asked to resolve conflicting rulings by the state's courts of appeals regarding whether the statutory exclusion for persons in a "position of trust" broadly bars a nurse or other private employee from participating in an ILC program for a drug-related offense if that offense was committed in the course of his or her employment.