WARREN - City Law Director Greg Hicks, who rents office space from bail bondsman Robert Cregar, said he sees no conflict of interest even though Hicks' office decides what charges, if any, to bring against Cregar's clients and employees.
Cregar, likewise, said he has never asked for nor received any favorable treatment from Hicks, whose private law practice is in a North Park Avenue building that Cregar owns.
"I have a job to do and I do it," Hicks said.
Hicks said Friday that he doesn't know why little progress has been made in the case of a man who identified himself as a bounty hunter for Cregar and who Warren police investigated for impersonating a U.S. Marshal. Hicks said the case is still in the hands of the police department and his office's Criminal Division.
Police detained Randy Kaigler on Oct. 16 because he matched the description of a man who threatened three others with a rifle. According to the police report, Kaigler was wearing tactical pants, a bulletproof vest, a bail officer's badge, handcuffs and tactical boots when they stopped him. Police found a BB gun AR 15 rifle in Kaigler's possession.
Kaigler told officers he was paid $600 to locate a fugitive for Bob's Bonding Company, which is owned by Cregar. He told officers he has observed others working for the company identify themselves as marshals and wear clothing similar to what U.S. Marshals Task Force members wear.
''We will consult with the Warren Law Department in reference to filing criminal charges on Mr. Kaigler, who was released on investigation,'' the police report states.
As of Friday, no charges have been filed.
Another man who works for Cregar, Joseph Sankey, owns the building that houses the controversial Sunset Lounge, which Warren City Council members want shut down. A state liquor hearing on the matter has been delayed twice, including once on a request from Hicks' assistant James Ries, who said he had a scheduling conflict.
Hicks said nobody else in his office should argue the city's case against Sunset Lounge's liquor license renewal because Ries has the experience and expertise.
"Jim has handled these cases since I've been here," Hicks said. "He's been doing them for so long that he really is the best one to handle them. He has the most expertise of anyone in our office about these matters."
Hicks defended the city against Cregar after the bondsman sued the city in 2003 for alleged harassment over tickets he received for parking in an alley next to his downtown building.
Hicks also represented the city when officials boarded up the controversial Benji Brown's bar located in a building owned by Cregar.
"I have a job to do and (Cregar) knows that," Hicks said. "If he were ever to have a problem with that, I would be gone, I would move out (of his building). But in all of the years I've been there, it hasn't been an issue."
Cregar said not only has he never received any preferential treatment from Hicks, he has never expected any.