MAHONING COUNTY COURT Bailiff is suspended in funds solicitation
The candidate stressed that his brother did nothing illegal by soliciting the contributions.
By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- The bailiff at Mahoning County Court here has been suspended for a week for soliciting campaign contributions for his brother, who is running for county court judge.
Tom Dockry was on vacation from his job as bailiff when he was suspended, said his brother Michael Dockry, who is the Austintown Township administrator. Judge Joseph Houser suspended Tom Dockry on Friday.
Tom Dockry and Judge Houser could not be reached for comment.
The suspension is slated to begin Monday. Michael Dockry said he believed the suspension was without pay.
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Michael is running for county court judge against Diane Vettori and incumbent Loren Popio in the November election. The winner will serve the remainder of an unexpired term that ends in 2007.
Michael said that on about June 20, his brother left court at about 9:30 a.m. and started his paid vacation.
Later that day, Tom solicited donations from some local attorneys. Michael couldn't remember which attorneys were asked for donations.
"There's nothing illegal," Michael said. He added that his brother was "just doing what he can to help me."
Michael said he wasn't aware there was a problem with his brother's soliciting donations until a television reporter questioned him about it in late June.
He added that he wasn't sure if the prohibition against soliciting contributions while on paid vacation time was a county court rule or a rule created by Judge Houser.
Michael said he didn't think his brother would appeal the suspension.