Court blocks Strickland hearing

LISBON -- The 7th District Court of Appeals late this morning issued an order temporarily blocking the Columbiana County Board of Elections from having a hearing Tuesday on the issue U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland's residency in Lisbon.
Strickland filed a lawsuit late Friday with the appeals court saying that the board of elections should not hold the hearing on Tuesday because the 10-day period in which the board was to hear a complaint by an East Liverpool woman had passed. The appeals court agreed and blocked the hearing.
The court will hold a hearing on Strickland's lawsuit at 11 a.m. Oct. 31.
Jacquelyn Sue Long of East Liverpool, a supporter of J. Kenneth Blackwell, who is Ohio Secretary of State and Strickland's Republican opponent, filed a complaint Oct. 4 challenging Strickland's residency. Strickland uses 320 N. Market St., Lisbon, as his voting residence but owns a condominium in Columbus that Long contends is Strickland's primary residence.
Strickland's lawyers said that to have the hearing would be exercising "quasi-judicial authority despite the ... lack of jurisdiction to do so."
Assistant County Prosecutor Nick Barborak, legal advisor to the elections board, said he has told the board that he believes that it cannot have the hearing on Long's complaint because the 10-day period is over.

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