August 29, 2014

Elyria
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Former cop, wife plead guilty to hacking

ELYRIA — An Amherst police officer and his wife took a plea deal Thursday to misdemeanor charges for hacking into an Amherst police dispatcher’s personal e-mail account in 2006.

Kurt Oehlstrom Sr., and Stephanie Oehlstrom, both 32, entered guilty pleas to attempted unauthorized use of property, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail.

They originally had faced felony charges when they were indicted in September 2008. Under the terms of the plea bargain, Kurt Oehlstrom Sr. must resign from the Amherst Police Department, where he has been on unpaid administrative leave, and he must never again work in law enforcement in Lorain County.

He also must surrender his Ohio law enforcement certificate.

Assistant County Prosecutor Peter Gauthier said during the hearing that Oehlstrom will be able to work in law enforcement after his probation ends but “he would just have to start from scratch.”

The investigation into Oehlstrom, who was with the department for about six years, began after he filed a complaint accusing the dispatcher, Michelle Jahnsz, of looking up information about him on the Internet and then e-mailing it to her brother, who was living in the Middle East at the time.

Jahnsz countered with her own complaint against Oehlstrom, accusing him of accessing her personal  e-mail account while they were both on duty.

Several e-mails between her and her brother were forwarded to an e-mail account that neither of them recognized, and her account’s password was changed, according to police records in the case.

While Oehlstrom calmly answered the questions posed to him during the plea hearing before county Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery, Stephanie Oehlstrom fought back tears.

Both declined to comment after the hearing, as did their attorneys and Amherst police Lt. Joseph Kucirek, who was also at the hearing.

The couple is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.