Former Perry cop must repay $10K to workers comp

A former full-time Perry Township police officer who claimed injury on the job and later quit has been ordered to pay $10,158 in restitution to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor attempted fraud charge.

Thomas L. Gamble, 35, of state Route 45, Leetonia, pleaded guilty Monday to attempted workers’ compensation fraud, a first-degree misdemeanor, during a hearing in Franklin County Common Pleas Court in Columbus.

He was originally indicted in March for two fourth-degree felony charges of workers’ compensation fraud and theft. The theft charge was dropped as part of the plea. According to online court records, a 90-day jail term will be dismissed if the restitution is paid before Oct. 17.

According to the indictment, the criminal actions occurred between March 5, 2012 and Nov. 2, 2012 when he allegedly received workers’ compensation benefits to which he was not entitled.

According to a Perry Township Police incident report from 8:50 a.m. Feb. 25, 2012, Gamble was injured after responding to an accident in the 2600 block of Cunningham Road where a motor vehicle rollover was just out of the township. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was notified and township police assisted with traffic control.

The report said Gamble slipped on the ice and fell into the door jamb on one of the vehicles, which caused injury to his back. According to Emigh, two days after he fell in February 2012, he was no longer working.

He remained off work until submitting his letter of resignation on May 3, 2013. He started with the department as a part-timer in late 1999/early 2000 and had worked full-time as a Perry police officer for many years.

A court discovery document available online outlined the type of evidence the Ohio Attorney General’s Office intended to use for trial,but didn’t get into great detail. The document said Gamble did not interview with agents from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, but “made numerous statements to several witnesses.”

Copies of those statements were provided to his defense attorney, along with copies of reports written by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation agents and analysts involved in the investigation.