TRUMBULL COUNTY Lawyer to review fireworks report


By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- The state fire marshal's office has conferred with a prosecutor to determine if criminal charges should be filed as a result of a fireworks explosion.
Robert Johnson, prosecutor at Girard Municipal Court, acknowledged today that he has met with Robert Sharp, a fire marshal's investigator.
Johnson said it will take one to two weeks to review the marshal's 200-page report.
More than 15 spectators went to area hospitals July 21 after a fireworks shell exploded near those celebrating the city's Founders Day at Harding Park.
Johnson identified Van Burnett, president of Burnett Display Co. of Ravenna, as "the main person we'll be looking at."
A misdemeanor charge that will be considered is negligent assault with a dangerous ordnance. "There are several allegations we're looking at right now," Johnson said this morning.
Charges, if any, would be filed in the Girard court because Hubbard is in that court's judicial district.
Not public yet
William Teets, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, said Tuesday investigators completed their report, but he declined to release it, saying it's not yet a public record.
Teets said if Johnson determines to take any action as a result of the probe, release of the report rests with the prosecutor.
If, however, no action is taken locally, the state fire marshal will release the report with information such as Social Security numbers and medical information blacked out.
The fireworks display was being put on by Burnett.
Company resident, Van Burnett, has maintained a shell malfunctioned after it was fired into the air.
yovich@vindy.com

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