The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on September 14, 1983 · Page 41
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 41

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 14, 1983
Page 41
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1 m CLASSIFIED D-5-15 METRO DIGEST D-4 OHIO NEWS D-3 EDITOR: JAMES P. DELANEY, 369-1003 THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1983 e's Opinion Suggests Leis Ignored Information On Kahn Judg 1 rs 1 ' BY ENQUIRER STAFF Former Hamilton County Prosecutor Simon Leis apparently ignored damaging Information about a controversial drug operative for the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit (RENU) for more than a year while he headed RENU.-; " That indication comes from a written opinion by U.S. District Court Judge S. Arthur Spiegel in a case in which RENU and the operative, Louis J. Kahn, are accused of violating the civil rights of a nurse who commited suicide In the Hamilton County Jail. Kahn, who became sexually Intimate with women he later set up for arrest, was terminated as a Special Operative Informant for RENU by Leis In September, 1981, according to Information in Spiegel's opinion. But more than a year earlier, a young woman called Leis to find out if Kahn and a person named Clifford George were actually police officers, according to an affidavit in the case cited by Spiegel. THE YOUNG woman, who is not Identified in the federal court document, said she told Leis of Kahn's activities in August, 1980, and that several days later, Kahn called her, angry that she had talked to the prosecutor. The woman's affidavit states that sexual advances and harassment by Kahn led her to doubt whether he and Cliff George (a Cincinnati police officer assigned to RENU as an undercover agent) were really narcotics agents. She said she spoke to her parents, and they decided to talk to Leis about the situation. She called Leis on Aug. 26, 1980, with her parents on the line. . "I told Mr. Leis that Lou Kahn had been badgering me about buying and selling drugs through the summer; that I had seen him carry a gun; that he had asked me to go to Florida; that I was a nursing student when I met him, and I didn't want to be harassed by him anymore," the affidavit said. The woman said sne told Leis that Kahn and a person named Cliff George had identified themselves as narcotics agents; told her they were following her; and that they had taken pictures of her and taped her phhone calls. She said X V Zl SIMON LEIS . . . did he ignore allegations? they threatened her with a felony arrest If she did not help them buy drugs. "Simon Leis said, 'It sounds LOUIS J. KAHN . . . one-time drug Informant like you are running around with bad people. Tell them to go to (See KAHN, Page D-2) Enquirer file photo SYLVESTER MURRAY, left, says it was performance, not age, that led him to fire Bret McGlnnls, right. Murray Defends Dismissal BY KAREN GARLOCH Enquirer Reporter "4 City Manager Sylvester Murray said Tuesday that former Safety Director Bret J. McGinnis Is being fired from his city job because he was "not competent," not because of his age. , . Until now, Murray admitted that he has tried to be "nice" about McGinnis publicly by saying simply that McGinnis was reassigned from the safety director's position last year because of lack of effective leadership. "All niceties aside," Murray wrote in a memo to council members dated today, "McGinnis has not performed well In the last two years, and he is being terminated for performance reasons, not age. . . , The truth is simply that McGinnis was not competent" The memo came a day after McGinnis charged the city with age discrimination in a complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (See McGINNIS, Page D-2) Victim's Companion Vows To Track Wyoming Killer BY STEVE HOFFMAN Enquirer Reporter A friend of Dorothea Irwin vowed Tuesday he would track down the Wyoming woman's killer. "I intend to spend the rest of my life finding the guilty party who did this deed, " said 73-year-old Ralp C. Lottes. Mrs. Irwin was found murdered Monday night in her home at 464 Compton Rd., Wyoming. 1 Lottes, finance director of Montgomery, told The Enquirer he met Mrs. Irwin In 1976 during a Travel-A-Go-Go trip to Manzanlllo, Mexico. Lottes has been a widower since 1970. "We have definitely been keeping company since we met," he said. "We were very close friends. I believe without a doubt I was her closest friend here." LOTTES, A 17-year employee of the City of Montgomery, said he talked to Wyoming police Tuesday morning "for a half-hour to 45 minutes" and said, "I gave them considerable information, everything I possibly know." Asked If he suspected anyone of Mrs. Irwin's death, Lottes answered, "In my opinion, there Is a little pattern developing, but it's a police matter, and I wouldn't hazard a guess." Lottes said he last saw Mrs. Irwin about 1:15 p.m. Monday at her home. "She gave me a sales pitch for her home over the weekend and she asked me to have it typed. I delivered It to her Monday." He said Mrs. Irwin telephoned him between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Monday. "It was the last time I heard from her," he said. "I don't know where she was; I assume she was home." SHE TOLD him, "I have the place sold." After they exchanged Joy of the transaction, Mrs. Irwin said, "I can't talk more. I'll call you later," according to Lottes. Police told Lottes Mrs. Irwin was found dead at 10:30 p.m. Monday. "Police told me every light in the house was on," he said. "Why would she put all the lights on that time of the night?" Lottes said he did not learn of her death until Mrs. Irwin's daughter, Joy Matthews of Atlanta, phoned him at 5 a.m. Tuesday. "Obviously, I feel very disturbed," he said. He said he and Mrs. Irwin visited a friend Sunday afternoon at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, Mariemont In recent years, Mrs. Irwin lived in Naples, Fla., with her 111 mother, Margaret Hllberg and son, John Jay Irwin, as well as in Wyoming, Lottes said. She owned rental properties In Wyoming, Cincinnati and Naples along with securities. BEFORE HER death, Mrs. Irwin had been in Wyoming "four to six weeks," said Lottes, finance director of Montgomery since 1971. "I would see her two-three times a week when she was in town." A distraught Lottes described Mrs. Irwin as "a very fine woman, a very delightful person." He said he had received "a lot of phone calls" following news of her death. "She had a lot of friends here." Lottes said he was not aware if Mrs. Irwin had any other male companions here. "Not to the best of my knowledge," he said. "Believe me, I knew her quite well. I am almost positive she 'did not date anyone else." He called the murder "a real tragedy to see someone like that meet a violent end for some unknown purpose; it really Is." Mrs. Irwin told him she was born In Norwood. She began living in both Naples and Cincinnati after her divorce in 1973, Lottes said. Metro To Reduce Weekend Fares To Help Ridership BY JOHNECKBERG Enquirer Reporter Queen City Metro will cut weekend bus fares to 25 cents a trip from Oct 1 through the end of 1983 in an effort to stem a troubling ridership decline. . Administrators say the publicly-owned transit system could lose up to 30 of the system's 1980 ridership of 33.7 million people because of high fares and increased use of the automobile. ; The new fare will coincide with autumn pleasure trips and holiday shopping, administrators said. ; Should the experiment produce a significant Increase in weekend ridership, there is a chance the reduced fare will be extended to off-peak weekday service In November. "THIS PROPOSAL is not without risk, but the risk is justifiable," said Murray C. Bond, assistant general manager. "Metro continues to lose riders even though the rate of loss slows each month. "It Is imperative that some risk be taken to test a short-range strategy that might provide long-range solutions for Metro's ridership problem. Bond said that downtown retailers have been approached to promote the reduced fares in upcoming holiday advertising. - General Manager Anthony Kouneskl blamed the system's falling ridership on: A recession that brought on high unemployment, which in turn meant fewer bus trips to and from work and fewer discretionary trips. "The recession has taken its toll," Kouneskl said. Meanwhile, falling gasoline prices have made It cheaper for people to drive a car. . The most significant reason for the decline are fare Increases totaling 25 cents In 1981 and 1982 that cost the system six million riders. If current trends continue, fewer will ride the bus this year than in 1974. Estimates are that only about 25 million will ride this year. A mild winter and wet spring also contributed to sluggish ridership figures, Kouneskl said. In the winter, clear roadways make It easier to drive to work, he said, and 13 rainy weekends In a row this spring meant fewer were willing to stand in inclement weather to wait for a bus. Currently bus rides cost 50 cents during weekends. However, additional zone fees can boost that to $1. Those zone fees will not take effect on weekends during the trial period. "MOST MIDWESTERN Industrial cities are having the same problems we are experiencing," Kouneskl said. "Where systems have reduced the fare, or fares have remained stable, they have continued to increase their ridership." The number of employees coming downtown by bus should also Increase dramatically as office buildings under construction in the central business district are rented, Kouneskl said. A vibrant downtown with four major department stores and events at Riverfront Stadium and elsewhere in the core city should boost weekend ridership this fall, Kouneskl said. Dally parking rates of $4 or more for downtown shoppers will also help, he continued. If the reduced fare does not attract more riders, the bus system stands to lose $15,000 a weekend in fare-box revenues. But the gamble Is more than worth it, Bond insisted. "Few consumers pay full price for anything today and retailers universally tout sales, discounts and reductions as the primary means of building business," he said. The measure has already received the approval of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, governing body of Queen City Metro. Cincinnati City Council, owner of the system, does not have to approve the measure, Kouneskl said. J 4 '- v .(-." ft i mm liwiiitiitrti'iiiii i Ml Fiery Disaster Brentwood Plaza Blaze Leaves $600,000 Damage In Its Wake Enquirer Photo BY MICHAEL E. KEATWO ROBERT CORY, owner of the IGA Foodllner, one of the Brentwood Plaza stores damaged in the fire, contemplates smoke damage after ordering employees to throw away food and other products. BY RANDY McNUTT Enquirer Reporter Joan Taint, whose family owns the Black Angus butcher shop in Brentwood Plaza, stood outside of her burned-out store Tuesday afternoon, watching workers pull away charred boards and pieces of metal. She said her son, Terence, the manager, called her about 9:30 p.m. Monday to say a fire was ripping through their store and that everything appeared to be lost. While he had no firm figures yet, Chief Barry Ziegler of the Northern Hills Fire Department estimated losses to the buildings alone Tuesday at $600,000, mostly In reroofing costs. "The fire started in the back somewhere," Mrs. Taint said, pointing to the black corridor that was once their neatly kept store, "and it traveled 130 feet, blowing out our whole shop." SHE PEERED Into the darkness, seeing shelves of black potato chip bags, black cases of meat, and a burned-out celling revealing sooty rafters. All that was left was a shell of a store, looking as If it had been rocked by an exploding bomb. "We got It the worst," she said. "It's disastrous. They're saying it was an electrical fire that started In the roof somewhere. We've been here 17 years, but I've never seen anything like this." "What a mess," a woman told Mrs. Taint. "They're pitching everything out of the IGA store. They're even throwing beer out the back door." "You see all these roast beefs, lunch meats, corned beefs?" Mrs. Taint asked. "They're all going to the dump, too. The health inspector will have to stand there to keep the scavengers away not animals, but people. I just can't believe this." A couple of stores away, Robert Cory, owner of the IGA Foodllner, was ordering his employees to throw away food and other products. "MY STORE is filthy, and it's all from smoke," he said. "The first shipment of stuff already went to the dump. I'd say 75 of the products In the store must go. It looks like a total loss (of products) to me. Our downtime will be three weeks, and that's costly when you're talking 45 employees." If ropes hadn't sealed off the store, customers might have thought the IGA was open for business. The store buzzed with the sounds of Insurance agents adjusting, clerks stacking, cashiers watching, and firefighters Inspecting. "Anything In a box or wrapper must be destroyed because of the "You see all these roast beefs, lunch meats, corned beefs? They're all going to the dump, too." Joan Taint, butcher shop owner contamination," Cory told someone. "All the frozen food units must be cleaned by professional refrigeration people." The business owners said they can't begin to estimate damage to contents or to the stores. Several said they believe their Insurance policies will cover their losses. Other stores damaged by the blaze were the Harvest Cafeteria, Baskln-Robblns, and West Shell Realtors. Firefighters said the stores were damaged by smoke and water, but fire walls saved them from the blaze of the Black Angus. The other 16 stores In the plaza on Win ton Road were not damaged. They were open for business Tuesday.

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