Last updated: August 25. 2013 4:59AM - 284 Views

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LIMA — The attorney representing at least one woman in a day-care fraud case escaped being held in contempt of court during a hearing Thursday.Springboro attorney John Scaccia failed to appear at an earlier hearing, instead asking his client to tell the court he would not be there.“That offended the court that you would send a client here to ask for a continuance,” said Judge Jeffrey Reed of Allen County Common Pleas Court.Scaccia said he has been sick and is on medicine to help. He apologized.“I was really too sick to drive or even go anywhere,” Scaccia said.Reed told him if he ever were sick again to contact the court.Scaccia was also told he can only represent one of the women charged in the case. He wants to represent three.Reed told Scaccia he cannot effectively look out for the best interests of the clients when it may include advising one client in the case to turn on the other.Scaccia is representing Nekosha James-Mitchell, 37, and wants to represent Quantilla Bagley, 31, and Brenda Brown, 35.Assistant Attorney General Margaret Tomaro said she intends to offer Bagley a generous plea deal in exchange for testimony against James-Mitchell. She said that creates an immediate conflict of interest for Scaccia.Scaccia appeared in court Thursday with Bagley, who told Reed she still wanted Scaccia to represent her despite a conflict of interest.Scaccia said he plans to appeal the judge's ruling to not allow him to represent Bagley and already has filed a similar appeal in Brown's case.James-Mitchell operates two home-based day care centers, All Together We Grow at 431 S. Prospect St. and Kosha's Kinder Kare at 1137 Simon St. Each place takes up to 12 children.Authorities said they conducted surveillance on the day care centers and did not observe children arriving or leaving, or even there during times listed on bills.James-Mitchell faces charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, four counts of tampering with records, four counts of forgery, grand theft, theft, failure to file state income tax returns and failure to remit state income taxes withheld from employers, according to court records.Bagley and Brown are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, complicity to forgery and two counts of complicity to theft, according to records.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.

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