Ohio Supremes Say Disabled Drug Dealing Cop was Fully Employed

30 Mar, 2012 Bob Wilson


The Ohio Supreme Court yesterday found that former Parma Police Officer Donald McNea could be considered to be gainfully employed by his drug dealing activities. It ordered him to repay the state for workers' compensation payments he received from the date of his first confirmed unlawful sale of OxyContin. The court found that his activities amounted to a “long term job”, income for which he apparently failed to report to the state.

According to court records and an AP story, the Parma Police Department was investigating him for illegal drug dealing “when he was injured and placed on permanent total disability in August 2004”. McNea was indicted on 20 counts of criminal activity. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. His benefits were terminated at that time.

In the case where the state was attempting to collect funds they claimed he was ineligible for, McNea and his attorney argued that he only made 4 drug sales over 2 months time, netting a mere $6,200. Apparently they believe that this was more of a part time endeavor – like selling Amway but with a slightly higher markup. Just slightly higher. They argued with the state's contention that this amounted to a potential “annual salary” of $24,000, calling it a "quantum leap" that did not add up.

I must say, it doesn't. In fact, the state was way off.

I have had a little fun with Ohio recently, and am hesitant to pick on those good people once again. My exploits here have earned me some new friends on LinkedIn, and we are in that fragile honeymoon period where the slightest thing I say could cause those relationships to crumble. I should be careful – but what the hell – Bill Teets seems to have a good sense of humor, so here goes:

My extensive cipherin' skills tell me the state vastly underestimated the potential of this brash young entrepreneur's income potential. They say he could have made $24,000 annually. I quickly calculated that $6,200 in 2 months equaled a monthly income of $3,100. Last time I checked there were 12 months in the year, which means his potential annual income could have been $37,200. I have double checked this figure with my fingers AND toes, and am confident it is accurate. And if he had really applied himself, provided excellent service, good value, hired some additional help, catered children's parties, who knows what he could have made.

Of course, I am looking at gross receipts. It is possible the state calculated state, county, city, neighborhood and other related income taxes he would have to deduct from his income (I've worked in Ohio – I actually had a “Tax” tax on my paystub at one point).  

Of course, now that I have written this, Google may make me the face of disabled drug dealing cops in Ohio.

The truth of the matter is that when your best argument was that you were only a “part time” drug dealer, you are pretty much screwed. The Ohio Supreme Court decision was unanimous, so it is not even possible to be consoled with a split decision on this one.  If we have learned one thing from this, it is that crime may not pay, but it still can be counted as full time employment.

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