Trial set for Bellaire Bridge owner

THE?CASE involving Bellaire Bridge owner Lee Chaklos is set for federal trial in Columbus next month after Chaklos pleaded innocent to an indictment charge of criminal contempt.

Chaklos had been scheduled to appear before the court on Oct. 11 for a show cause hearing on the criminal contempt charge.

But in an order filed Friday, Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio continued the Oct. 11 hearing, noting Chaklos had pleaded innocent.

The judge’s order set Chaklos’ new court date for 10 a.m. Nov. 12 with a pre-trial conference set for 3 p.m. Nov. 5.

Marbley scheduled the initial criminal contempt hearing following a July 16 mediation hearing involving Chaklos and Benwood officials.

It was during the hearing the court was told Chaklos allegedly hadn’t disclosed there were three liens against the span, collectively totalling $2.12 million.

Three companies have placed liens against the bridge. DAC Audit Services of Clarkston, Mich., invested $820,000 with Chaklos, and believes it now owns the scrap metal as a result of the deal. RFK Enterprises of New Castle, Pa., made investments totalling $1.2 million for a share in the sale of scrap metal; and Scrap Dynamics Corp. of Aurora, Ohio, paid Chaklos $100,000 to become the exclusive purchaser of the bridge scrap, according to the court documents.

The bridge has been closed since 1991.

Roger Barack of Bellaire owned the bridge from the time of its closure until selling it in 2003 to Advanced Explosives Demolition for $1.

Shortly after, AED sold the bridge to Chaklos and his wife, Krystal Chaklos, under the name KDC Investments for $25,000.