December 26, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain defense attorney Mike Camera files to expunge his record

ELYRIA — Lorain defense attorney Mike Camera has filed to have his own criminal conviction for perjury expunged.

Camera

Camera

Camera, who pleaded guilty in 1991 and sentenced to a year in prison, said he routinely works with clients to have their criminal records expunged.

“I’ve been doing it for other people and I decided to take my own advice,” he said.

Mike Doyle, Camera’s attorney, wrote in the expungement request that his client “has been fully rehabilitated, is gainfully employed, and an expungement at this time would be consistent with the public interest.”

The perjury conviction stems from Camera’s representation of the KILJA Corp., which included Song Keith, who received prison time for operating a prostitution ring under the guise of a health spa. As part of Song’s plea bargain, she agreed to forfeit an office building she owned.

But Camera went to a sheriff’s sale and bid on the property for the company despite a state law barring those who have forfeited property from buying it back.

He signed an affidavit stating that he wasn’t representing Keith.

He also had been accused of laundering money for Keith’s organization, but was never charged with those allegations.

Camera cooperated with investigators in the ongoing investigation into Keith’s business and in addition to his prison sentence and $1,000 fine, he was ordered to forfeit the $3,000 he was paid to bid on the building at sheriff’s sale, according to court records.

The Ohio Supreme Court also pulled Camera’s license to practice law, but he was reinstated as an attorney in 1997.

Camera, who served a single term in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1983 to 1984, was convicted of a DUI charge while in office.

He said his primary motivation for seeking to have his record expunged has to do with increasing restrictions on people with criminal convictions being able to travel internationally, something he enjoys doing.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said Monday that he has not yet decided whether he will oppose Camera’s request, although his office is reviewing the matter.

A hearing is set for Aug. 2 before county Common Pleas Judge James Burge.

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