The attorney of Regional Medical Center’s former CEO is arguing that most of the charges against him should be dismissed.
61-year old Lon Butikofer of Manchester is charged with First Degree Theft and First Degree Fraudulent Practices after the State Auditor’s Office discovered he and another hospital employee accumulated over 256-thousand dollars in expenses for personal trips they claimed were for business. Butikofer and RMC’s former System Fund Development Director Mike Briggs were arrested in June.
Butikofer’s attorney, Mark Liabo, recently filed a motion to dismiss charges against him. He argues that most of the alleged thefts happened more than three years ago – that would put them outside the statute of limitations.
The investigation spanned eight years, from January 2009 to March 2017. Liabo argues anything before August 2016 cannot be prosecuted, which he says means Butikofer could only be charged with stealing around 35-hundred dollars. That would also drop the charges from First Degree to Second Degree, which could mean a maximum of five years in prison if convicted instead of ten years.
Delaware County Attorney John Bernau disagrees and has filed a resistance to his motion to dismiss Butikofer’s charges.
The judge has not yet made a decision.
Butikofer has pleaded not guilty. His trial is set for December 4th in Delaware County District Court.