MAHONING COUNTY Two judges sue for funding
The action was filed in the Ohio Supreme Court.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Two judges have made good on their threat to sue Mahoning County commissioners for more money.
An action was filed this week in the Ohio Supreme Court by Judge Timothy P. Maloney of probate court and Judge Theresa Dellick of juvenile court.
Both judges are contesting the budget allocations given to them this year by commissioners and are asking the high court to force commissioners to give them more.
"The ball is rolling," said Atty. John B. Juhasz, who represents both judges in the matter.
A spokeswoman in the Supreme Court clerk's office said once commissioners receive a copy of the complaint, they will have 21 days to file a response.
Gary Kubic, county administrator, said commissioners will turn over the matter to Prosecutor Paul Gains, who is representing them.
Choice of court
He said it's interesting that the judges chose to file the action in Columbus rather than in the county common pleas court or the 7th District Court of Appeals, both of which are in Youngstown.
Kubic and Juhasz said the Supreme Court justices could either rule based on written motions from both sides, or order that a hearing be held.
Both judges submitted court orders in December, telling commissioners how much money they wanted to operate their courts this year.
Judge Dellick requested $6.9 million, but was given $4.6 million. Judge Maloney was appropriated $750,000, even though he'd requested $922,196.
The mandamus action asks that the high court order commissioners to come up with the additional money.
Commissioners cut all budgets from last year's levels because of declining revenues from sales tax receipts and investment earnings. They say there isn't enough money to meet the judges' demands.
Juhasz credited Gains for trying to find some middle ground for commissioners and Judge Maloney but said a compromise ultimately could not be reached.
"It's been a month since Judge Maloney's order was filed," Juhasz said, noting the commissioners have met several times since then. "They haven't made any new budget appropriations since then, and it doesn't appear they are going to."