Toledo area attorney accused of heroin possession


A Toledo lawyer who previously ran for judge was found with heroin inside his wallet during a North Toledo traffic stop this week, according to a Toledo police report. 


Kenneth W. Phillips, 60, of the 3000 block of Hopewell Place in West Toledo, is charged with possessing less than 1 gram of heroin, a fifth-degree felony. He also was cited for failure to register expired tags and a display of license plate violation. 

His passenger, Timothy McLaughlin, 50, of Oregon, was charged with possessing controlled substances, specifically powder and crack cocaine, a fifth-degree felony. 

At about 5 p.m. Monday, police passed a vehicle with an expired plate that was also not registered to the listed vehicle, according to the police report. Officers stopped the vehicle in the 1900 block of North Summit Street.

Mr. Phillips consented to a search. Police found suspected crack cocaine between the front passenger seat and the center console, the report states. 

Additionally, suspected heroin was located inside inside Mr. Phillips’ wallet, according to the report. 

On Tuesday, a Toledo Municipal Court judge set Mr. Phillips’ bond at $10,000 at no percent. He was later released on his own recognizance and sent to a Drug Abuse Response Team officer for detox, according to court records.  

He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on May 25. 

Mr. McLaughlin was also arraigned Tuesday and he was released on a recognizance bond. He will appear for a preliminary hearing on June 19. 

A message left for Mr. Phillips’ attorney, Marty Dow, was not returned. The Blade attempted to reach Mr. Phillips’ law office, but there was no answer. 

The Blade also called Mr. McLaughlin, but there was no answer. 

In 2013, Mr. Phillips was one of three Republicans recommended to the governor by the Lucas County Republican Party to fill a Common Pleas Court vacancy created when Judge James Jensen was elected to Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals. He ran unsuccessfully for Toledo Municipal Court judge in 2013 and for Lucas County Common Pleas judge in 2012.

Mr. Phillips’ license was suspended by the Ohio Supreme Court from July, 1998, to June, 2002, for failing to keep up with his continuing legal education requirements, said Richard Dove, director of the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct.

In 1996, the high court imposed a $750 sanction and ordered that he be listed on the roll of attorneys as “not in good standing” for not completing the required courses for 1993-94. A similar $750 sanction was imposed by the Supreme Court in 1998 for the period from 1995-96.

He was also found in contempt of Licking County Domestic Relations Court in 2001 for falling behind in child support payments to his former wife, the late Julie Phillips Socie, for their two sons.

While Mr. Phillips’ case is pending, he is legally allowed to practice law, Mr. Dove said. He was admitted to the bar in November, 1989. 

If a lawyer is convicted of a felony in Ohio, the board is required to certify the conviction to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court then imposes an interim felony suspension against the lawyer that remains in effect throughout the disciplinary hearing, according to the board. Mr. Phillips could face disbarment.

Mr. Phillips was most recently an attorney for a 13-year-old boy who robbed another youth and fired a weapon at a woman at a fast food restaurant. Jo’Renzo Phillips admitted to the offenses earlier this month and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Connie Zemmelman on June 5.

Contact Allison Dunn at, 419-724-6506 or on Twitter @AllisonDBlade.