By Nancy Bowman
Suspended local lawyer Chris Bucio is asking a judge to approve his early release from a community control sentence ordered in January 2017 following his conviction on a criminal charge in Shelby County.
David Greer, a Dayton lawyer representing Bucio, filed the motion for early release Jan. 15 in Shelby County Common Pleas Court. A hearing is scheduled Friday, Feb. 9, in Shelby County.
Bucio was convicted in that court in November 2016 on felony unauthorized use of property involving land obtained for fees from a Shelby County client. He was accused of taking 22 acres of farm land from the woman in payment for legal representation in 2010, selling the land and keeping the proceeds.
The woman was paid $97,767 restitution by Bucio as part of a settlement agreement just before his sentencing.
He was sentenced to five years of community control and a $5,000 fine.
The Ohio Supreme Court on Nov. 29 suspended Bucio from the practice of law in the state. The suspension was for an indefinite time. An application for reinstatement to practice of law cannot be filed before Nov. 30, 2019.
Bucio's law firm had offices in communities including Troy, Tipp City, Greenville and Sidney.
In the motion for early release from community control, Greer wrote that at the time of sentencing discussions were held that included consideration of early release after a year of community control sanction.
Greer wrote that Bucio had not engaged in an "significant misconduct" during that year and that he "has demonstrated remorse, compliance, community service, commitment to gainful employment and dedication to family and to community responsibilities."
The motion references a January weekend when Bucio reported on a Saturday to serve time in the jail. Greer explained in the motion that the 48 hours in jail was imposed after Bucio failed to notify his probation officer when he and his family spent a night in a hotel in November because of a furnace problem at their home.
Greer said Bucio's probation officer initially hold him he would not be sanctioned but that decision later was overruled by a supervisor. Greer said Bucio served the 48 hours without challenge. He termed the incident "so minor and technical that it should be considered innocuous."
In an affidavit with the motion for early release from community control, Bucio wrote he had worked since the time of his sentencing, most recently as chief operating officer for Skymesh, LLC, a company he said provides Internet access and assistance to rural customers.
He said he also volunteered as an assistant soccer coach.
"Whether or not I am continued on community control, I will continue to strive to be a model law-abiding citizen," Bucio wrote.