Man jailed when daughter fails to get diploma

Man jailed when daughter fails to get diploma

By LISA CORNWELL, Associated Press Writer
Tue May 13, 4:43 PM ET

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080513/ap_on_re_us/odd_diploma_father_jailed

A man ordered by a judge to make sure his daughter hit the books has found himself in jail because she failed to earn a high school equivalency diploma.

Brian Gegner, of Fairfield, was sentenced last week to 180 days in jail for contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a minor.

He was ordered months ago to make sure his 18-year-old daughter Brittany Gegner, who has a history of truancy, received her GED — something that hasn’t happened yet.

Brittany Gegner, who said Monday that she plans to take a required GED test this month, said her father shouldn’t be blamed for her failure because she has been living with her mother.

"It was my wrongdoing, not his," said Brittany Gegner, whose fiance and 18-month-old daughter also live at her mother’s home in nearby Hamilton. "He shouldn’t have to go to jail for something I did."

Her mother agrees.

"Brittany is almost 19 years old now and I think it’s unfair to put her father in jail," said Shana Roach. "She’s an adult now, and it’s not right to rip an innocent man from his home."

Butler County Juvenile Court administrator Rob Clevenger Jr. said Monday that the court still has jurisdiction in the case because Brittany Gegner was a juvenile when the truancy problems began and when the charge against Brian Gegner was filed in 2007.

A hearing on a motion filed by Brian Gegner’s attorney to reconsider the sentence is scheduled for Friday. Messages seeking comment were not returned Monday at the offices of defense attorney Tamara Sack and the Butler County prosecutor.

Brian Gegner’s wife, Stephanie Gegner, said she and her husband are afraid he will lose his job if he remains in jail. She said they tried to keep his daughter in school.

"You’d take her to school and she’d go out the other door," Stephanie Gegner said.

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