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OU employee fined for recent gun threat

An Ohio University employee could avoid jail time after pleading no contest to threatening to bring a gun to work last year.

Stacy Gorham, 53, pleaded no contest to his charges of inducing panic and possession of criminal tools in the Athens County Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Gorham’s possession of criminal tools charge was dismissed, and Judge William Grimm reduced his inducing panic charge and found him guilty of persistent disorderly conduct.

Gorham, an OU utility worker, believed he would be fired after losing keys and said on Dec. 14 that he would bring a shotgun to work if the university attempted to fire him, according to a university release.  

After the incident, Gorham was placed on administrative leave and ordered not to return to campus, according to the release.

Gorham is still employed by OU and made $11,585.60 last year, according to the university payroll office.

Grimm sentenced Gorham to a $250 fine and 30 days in jail. Gorham will avoid the jail time if he completes a drug and alcohol evaluation in three days and gives up all firearms seized by police after the threat.

University police officers found two shotguns, two long rifles, an SKS, an AK-47, two handguns and ammunition for each firearm, according to the release.

Gorham could have been sentenced to a maximum of 360 days in jail and a maximum fine of $2,000 if convicted of both charges at a trial, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

OUPD worked with the city prosecutor’s office to seek an adequate sentence for Gorham, said Andrew Powers, OUPD Police Chief.  

“I was concerned about the safety of the greater community, so I met with the prosecutor to talk abut what options we had in resolving this case,” Powers said. “It was at the prosecutor’s request.”

Powers declined to comment on what recommendations for sentencing he made to the city prosecutor’s office.

“(Grimm) is doing his job and we’re doing our job, so I’m not going to get mad, get angry, or disagree with the judge,” Powers said. “It is what it is.”

—Sam Howard contributed to this report.

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