Former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Art Schlichter’s release from federal prison this month for a ticket-fraud scheme will be followed by a stay in an Ohio prison, a Franklin County judge said Wednesday.
Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Chris Brown held a brief hearing on Schlichter’s request for early release from his state sentence, but the former athlete’s attorney began the hearing by withdrawing the request.
In response to a question from county Prosecutor Ron O’Brien, Brown indicated that, had the request gone forward, he would have denied it anyway.
When Schlichter, 60, is released from a federal prison in Florence, Colorado, on Aug. 18, he will be transferred to the custody of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to serve what Brown estimated to be nine months remaining on his state sentence.
Former Ohio State and NFL quarterback Art Schlichter listens as Judge Timothy Horton reads him his sentence in Franklin County Common Pleas Court Thursday, Sept 15, 2011, in Columbus, Ohio. In a deal with prosecutors, Schlichter pleaded guilty to 13 counts and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. (Photo: Terry Gilliam, AP)
O’Brien said afterward that, based on his office’s calculations, Schlichter has 14 months left to serve in Ohio.
Schlichter was sentenced in May 2012 to nearly 11 years in federal prison and 10 years in an Ohio prison for fleecing millions of dollars from victims by selling them tickets to college and National Football League games, including the Super Bowl, that he never delivered. The former Ohio State, Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills quarterback used the money to feed his gambling addiction, prosecutors said.
The two sentences were to be served concurrently in a federal prison.
Schlichter, whose gambling addiction ruined his football career and caused him repeated runs-ins with the law, has continued to gamble while in federal prison, Brown said.
An investigation by prison officials turned up an email that showed he was placing bets through a woman on the outside, Brown said.
Had Schlichter behaved in federal prison, “he would make a good candidate” for early release, the judge said.
The situation is unfortunate, Brown said, given reports that Schlichter suffers from several health issues from his football career, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, from hits to his head.
His attorney, Stephen Palmer, who based his request for early release in part on his client’s health, said afterward that he withdrew the request because he was “fairly convinced” that the judge was going to deny it.
Schlichter was Ohio State’s starting quarterback from 1978 to 1981 and was a first-round pick in the 1982 NFL draft. His excessive gambling led to criminal charges, and Schlichter was in prison in Indiana from 1994 to 2006 for fraud and forgery.
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