Constable candidate has long history as ‘big-time con man’

Published 10:18 am Friday, November 22, 2019

According to multiple Ohio news outlets, Nicholas Douglas, who recently qualified to run as a Democratic candidate for constable in Dallas County, has a lengthy criminal background that includes impersonating a police officer, various scams, writing bad checks and more.

According to a 2004 article by The Toledo Blade, Douglas was arrested in February of that year after stopping and questioning an off-duty police officer in Northwood.

The Blade reported that off-duty Northwood police officer Michael Wilkinson entered a local mall parking lot while test driving a vehicle on Jan. 30, 2004 when Douglas pulled him over “with several aggressive driving maneuvers,” before questioning the off-duty officer and telling him that he would be arrested for trespassing if he did not leave mall property.

Though the report notes that Douglas never claimed to be a police officer, Northwood detective Sgt. Ken Campbell stated that stopping and questioning the off-duty officer constituted impersonation.

In Wilkinson’s subsequent report, he stated that Douglas was operating a black Chevrolet Lumina equipped with various flashing lights and marked “Public Safety” on the doors, with “Chief Enforcement Agent” and “Community Response Unit” on the fenders.

The article goes on to state that Northwood police were pursuing other people that Douglas had “pulled over, threatened or otherwise accosted,” adding that police at the time had already spoken with one woman who had been ticketed by Douglas and had received witness reports of other stops.

It was also reported that two years earlier, Douglas had pleaded no contest in a Perrysburg, Ohio court to an impersonation complaint, for which he received a suspended 90-day jail sentence and two years of probation.

A 2009 article from WTOL 11 in Toledo following Douglas’ indictment on separate charges, entitled “Toledo police say big-time con artist is at it again,” states that Douglas conned nearly $100,000 out of victims.

The article notes that, prior to the 2009 indictment, Douglas had served 14 months in jail for taking people’s money and offering to train them to be “bounty hunters.”

During the 2009 court hearing, it was revealed that Douglas had been arrested in 2007 for writing bad checks, which were later revealed to have been used to purchase stretchers, police packs and OB-GYN kits.

Douglas was again sent to jail in the 2009 case for running up a $10,000 tab at Madison Bistro in Toledo for his wedding and never paying the bill.

The owner was one of seven people alleged to have been conned by Douglas in the nine months following his release from jail on the impersonation charge.

After leaving jail on those charges, Douglas returned to WTOL 11 headlines a year later when he was arrested on felony charges for conning two people through an online advertisement, one of which was a 20-year retired veteran of “one of the biggest police departments in the country.”

According to the article, the officer found Douglas’ name from a legitimate agency.

Douglas was offering a 12-week course in 30 different classes but wanted hundreds of dollars to be wired up front.

Despite his reservations, the officer sent the money – when he drove to the location where the training was to take place, the officer found that the classroom didn’t exist.

For his part, Douglas, who moved to Dallas County from Detroit, Michigan, contends the charges are irrelevant to his bid to serve as constable.

“Those crimes are very old,” Douglas said. “I was a young man doing wild things. I was young and dumb. I’ve lived a crime-free life for the last eight years.”

Douglas contends that many of his earlier charges were related to his business, United States Judicial Services (USJS), but the business name is not listed in any of the previously-mentioned news articles and no listing of the business could be found online.

Further, Douglas stated that many of the charges against him were dismissed, despite references in both WTOL 11 stories to time spent in jail, and that he currently has a lawsuit pending against the City of Toledo.

Though he admits that revelations about his past crimes may change voters’ perception of him, Douglas vowed to keep up his campaign and affirmed his commitment to improving Selma and Dallas County.

“I plan to work,” Douglas said. “I plan to help citizens.”

Representatives from the Dallas County Democratic Party could not be reached for comment.