Coffland, son get suspended sentences

BELLAIRE – Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland and his son each received a three-day suspended sentence, a $250 fine and one year probation during sentencing Tuesday morning in Belmont County Eastern Division Court.

In February, both Coffland and his son, Matthew B. Coffland, were found guilty on one obstruction charge, stemming from an April 1, 2012 visit by Ohio liquor control agents at the Tiger Pub in Shadyside.

The jury found the two not guilty on two additional obstruction charges.

Special Prosectuor Tom Hampton also suggested community service as part of the Cofflands’ sentencing, but Judge James Peters didn’t include it as part of the overall penalty package.

Peters did note, however, that if either Coffland come under scrutiny for any similar charges in the next year, that jail time could likely come into play.

Matthew D. Coffland took the opportunity to make a brief statement following his sentencing.

“As you know, I appeared before the liquor control board and the charge of hindrance was dropped against me,” Coffland said. “I want the record to reflect that … all the charges that followed were a result of that charge.

“It was the local (county) prosecutor that decided to bring the additional (obstruction) charges against me.”

Coffland noted he was cited for unsanitary conditions by the liquor control board because of water being in the bottom of his coolers, which was rectified.

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