December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Former court clerk faces more charges

Sierra Dozier

Sierra Dozier

ELYRIA — Sierra Dozier is facing another round of charges for accusations that she stole while she was working as a deputy clerk of courts in Lorain Municipal Court.

Dozier, 26, has been indicted by a Lorain County grand jury on four counts of tampering with records and two counts each of theft in office and theft. The indictment, unsealed Monday, comes less than two weeks after she pleaded guilty in federal court to mail fraud.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will said the state investigation into Dozier was separate from the case built by federal authorities. He said the federal agencies involved and Lorain police were informed that his office intended to pursue its own investigation into Dozier’s activities.

Both the state and federal cases center on allegations Dozier stole between $15,000 and $20,000 between March 2012 and May 2013, when Dozier was arrested as part of a drug raid on the home she shared with her now-husband, Julio Osorio.

During the raid, Lorain police discovered Lorain Municipal Court documents, including traffic citations, checks payable to the court and envelopes belonging to the clerk’s office, according to an FBI affidavit prepared as part of the federal case.

The May 14 raid also turned up six pounds of marijuana and $862 in cash at the Columbo Lane home. Both Dozier and Osorio are facing drug charges in that case.

In his affidavit, FBI Special Agent Casey Carty wrote that Dozier admitted during a May 28 interview with Lorain police and a representative from Will’s office that she stole from the court by putting checks that criminal defendants mailed in to cover court costs and fines in her drawer and taking a corresponding amount of money out.

She also admitted to stealing money from defendants she waited on in person and to changing court-ordered cash bonds to personal bonds so she could pocket the cash, according to the affidavit.

Carty wrote that Dozier then took steps to cover up the thefts by altering court records so that defendants wouldn’t lose their driver’s licenses or otherwise notice that their fines and costs hadn’t been credited as being paid.

Clerk of Courts Lori Maiorana suspended Dozier following her initial arrest in May and fired her when she was indicted on drug and child-endangering charges in July.

Although Dozier admitted to stealing, Carty wrote that investigators are still trying to determine how she deposited $48,187 beyond her wages into her bank account between February 2012 and May 10, 2013. That was a larger amount than she admitted to stealing.

Dozier’s lawyers did not return calls seeking comment Monday.

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