VentureWire: Ohio Police Charge VC In Hit-Run

There’s a joke in here somewhere:

Venture investor Timothy Biro, one of two managing partners at early-stage firm Ohio Innovation Fund, was formally charged on Thursday with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident following a Tuesday night crash in Cleveland that left a 31-year-old bicyclist dead.

Biro was scheduled to enter a plea to the charges Friday, Cleveland Police Department spokesperson Thomas Stacho said. While leaving the scene is a misdemeanor, the other charge can be tried as a felony, he said.

Biro was given a breathalyzer test shortly after a witness followed him from the scene and called police, Stacho said, and investigators believe he was not under the influence at the time.

“He’s been very cooperative with our detectives,” Stacho said. “He gave a written statement to our Accident Investigation Unit.”

A judge likely will set bail for Biro, Stacho said Thursday.

According to police reports, Biro hit bicyclist Terrell Jones on 55th Street in Cleveland just after 9 p.m. on Tuesday, then fled the scene. Another motorist followed Biro, police said, and phoned in his license plate number to police. Biro was arrested about 20 minutes after the crash, police said. Jones died in a local hospital the following day.

Further details were not immediately available. Representatives from the firm couldn’t be reached for comment.

Based in Cleveland, the Ohio Innovation Fund is an early-stage investment firm with a number of biotech and life-sciences investments. The firm’s Web site was disabled Thursday.

The firm manages Ohio Innovation Fund I LP, which was raised in 1997 with $11.2 million. It typically invests $250,000 to $500,000 in first rounds and up to $1.25 million based on milestones. According to VentureSource, the firm has at least eight portfolio companies, four of which are still private.

Biro serves on the boards of at least four start-ups: FLX Micro Inc., a spin-out of Case Western Reserve University that manufactures micro-electrical mechanical systems; Imalux, a provider of commercial medical imaging equipment based on optical coherence tomography; Inspherion, a provider of business intelligence software; and SpineMatrix, which sells spinal imaging products that evaluate low back physiology.

But then someone died so I’m not going to make it…