Developer Sentenced

Developer sentenced for misusing public money

A developer convicted last month of bilking the city of Cincinnati out of 184-thousand dollars by fleeing without finishing a theater rehabilitation project was sentenced today. Twenty-eight-year-old LaShawn Pettus-Brown was sentenced to four years in prison. He could have receivd up to 21 years. A Hamilton County Common Pleas Court jury convicted him April 20th all seven counts of aggravated theft, tampering with records, forgery and unauthorized use of property. Common Pleas Judge Ethna Cooper also sentenced Pettus-Brown to five years' probation. He will get 16 months' credit for time served on his conviction for related federal charges. That conviction was later overturned. Prosecutors said Pettus-Brown convinced city officials in 2002 to give him money to renovate the 90-year-old Empire Theatre. Prosecutors said he used the money to promote a concert, buy expensive meals, take his relatives to a family reunion in Alabama and pay personal bills.