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Caseworker must pay for defense at trial

LOCKPORT -- A Niagara County Social Services caseworker, charged with costing the county more than $400,000 through laziness or incompetence, will have to hire his own lawyer because he's back on the county payroll.

Dan D. Dietrich, 49, of Brayley Road, Wilson, faces 18 felony counts of tampering with public records.

Dietrich is accused of renewing the eligibility of 252 Medicaid clients without checking to see if they were still eligible for benefits. His trial is scheduled for Dec. 12.

He appeared in Niagara County Court Tuesday, when Judge Sara Sheldon Sperrazza learned Dietrich no longer qualifies for public defender services because he is again drawing a county paycheck.

Dietrich, who earns $32,377 a year, was suspended without pay for 30 days, the maximum allowed under state law. He is barred from working but returned to the payroll as of Sept. 8, county Human Resources Director Peter P. Lopes said.


Man denies robbing cabbie at knifepoint

LOCKPORT -- Jerome Newton Jr., accusing of robbing a cab driver at knifepoint June 21, pleaded not guilty to third- degree robbery Tuesday in Niagara County Court.

Newton, 36, of Elmwood Avenue, Niagara Falls, was accused of robbing the Blue Taxi driver of $15 at 18th and Niagara streets. The cabbie told police at the time that after he handed over the money he floored the accelerator, causing Newton to fall out of the vehicle's open door.


Burglar gets a break to pay restitution

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport man who burglarized a Town of Niagara home last year has been given six months to pay $1,724 in restitution and show he can stay out of trouble.

Niagara County Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr. Tuesday placed Jermaine N. Atkins, 23, of Lincoln Place, on interim probation pending a firm sentencing decision.

Atkins pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree burglary for stealing a shotgun, a fur coat and some jewelry from a Tuscarora Road home Aug. 30, 2004.


Parolee faces charges after dice game robbery

LOCKPORT -- A Lockport man on parole from Wende Correctional Facility was charged Monday with felony robbery, police said.

Anthony Ruiz, 22, of Pine Street, who was arraigned Tuesday in City Court and was being held without bail in Niagara County Jail, is accused of robbing an Ashley Place man Sept. 20 after a dice game of dice in a Church Street alley, police said.

Police said Ruiz was on parole after serving time for several drug possession charges and resisting arrest.

The man said Ruiz hit him in the face several times with an unknown object and then took $800, police said.


Milk truck deliveryman to schools admits DWI

LOCKPORT -- A milk truck driver who was arrested for driving while intoxicated when delivering milk to Newfane schools May 19 pleaded guilty to felony DWI in Niagara County Court Tuesday.

Chris G. Monin, 38, of Parker Boulevard, Kenmore, is to be sentenced Nov. 30 by Judge Peter L. Broderick Sr.

In another felony DWI case, Thomas H. Baehr, 55, of Wolcottsville Road, Royalton, also pleaded guilty to that charge before Broderick Tuesday. No sentencing date was announced. Baehr was arrested June 29 in the City of Lockport.

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