The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Owners of Roth Manufacturing sentenced 2013.01.02

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Owners of Morenci’s Roth Fabricating, Inc., are looking toward a future of growth and increased employment as they move away from an incident that occurred more than four years ago.

A lengthy legal case was resolved in federal court Dec. 19, bringing to an end an investigation into certain parts produced for the military during the 2007-08 time period.

The outcome of the case resulted in custodial sentences for the two owners of the business—Shane Sarnac and Simone Haas—plus a financial restitution.

Roth’s first foray into military supply started in 2007 with the fabrication of M-16 rifle racks for placement on Humvees. By the start of 2008, the company produced nearly 200 items for the military, including engine stands, missile transport frames, interior tank parts and tank tool trays.

Roth was honored by the Procurement Technical Assistance Center as the Lenawee County Government Contractor of the Year for 2007 and was among three companies considered for the state honor.

At the same time, Roth maintained contracts with several commercial firms, including many within the county.

Defense Department engineers discovered that some of Roth’s parts failed to meet required specifications.

“Government contracts require strict adherence to specifications,” said attorney George Donnini of the Butzel Long law firm that represents Roth. “In the end, certain of their final products did not comply.”

The company owners did not go into the manufacture of military supplies with any bad intentions, Donnini added. He characterized Roth’s predicament as “getting in over their heads” in the effort to fill military orders.

In federal court in Columbus, Ohio,   Dec. 19, Sarnac apologized for mistakes made and said he and his company are working hard to make amends.

Sarnac pled guilty in January 2012 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud—a charge made by the military because payments for goods were sent by wire to Roth.

He received a custodial sentence of 15 months in a federal prison camp. His sister and co-owner, Simone Haas, pled guilty to the same charge and was sentenced in May. She is currently serving her 15-month sentence in a federal camp. 

The judge ordered the restitution of $825,000 and the defendants have paid about half of that amount. The remainder is to be paid in equal installments over a five-year period. The company was also fined $25,000.

Due to a plea agreement, the judge is allowing Sarnac’s sentence to begin after Haas’s ends in order for one of them to be able to lead the company.

“Our goal was to ensure the future viability of the company and the government shared in that goal,” Donnini said.

Donnini stated that Roth has made great strides in recovering from the incident.

“The company has come a long way since then,” he said. “Their commercial business has steadily increased and they’re picking up new customers which is allowing them to add more employees. The goal is to keep the company moving forward and keep people in the local community employed.”

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