Settlement cancels Layshock ethics case

By Ed Runyan


A trial in Ravenna Municipal Court scheduled for Tuesday to try former Newton Falls Mayor Pat Layshock on ethics charges has been canceled because of a settlement.

Julie Korte, chief investigative attorney for the Ohio Ethics Commission, confirmed that trial was canceled because of a settlement but said she could not comment on the specifics until the agreement is finalized.

Layshock said he also would not comment on the settlement until it is final.

Korte said a hearing at 11 a.m. Nov. 2 will take place in Ravenna Municipal Court to formalize the agreement, and information about it will be released then.

Layshock, 55, of Paige Court, Newton Falls, was charged with two misdemeanor offenses accusing him of participating directly in meetings, discussions or deliberations and other actions between Feb. 3, 2009, and March 16, 2009, “intended to benefit the business interests of his brother, Kenneth Layshock.”

Layshock was Newton Falls mayor at the time.

Judge Barbara R. Watson of Ravenna is hearing the case on assignment from the Ohio Supreme Court. It was moved from Newton Falls Municipal Court because of pretrial publicity.

Pat Layshock is accused of participating in meetings related to water, sewer and road improvements needed to help attract a health-care center to a site on state Route 534 south of the Pamida store in Newton Falls, in which Kenneth Layshock had a financial interest.

Pat Layshock set up two meetings involving business people as well as local and federal officials designed to secure federal funding for water, sanitary sewer and road improvements that would have aided the project, officials have said.

The federal funding was refused, and the project never happened.

In some cases, the ethics commission and individuals accused of ethics violations have agreed to a public reprimand in exchange for dropping criminal charges.

In April in southern Ohio, Rick Edwards, superintendent of Eastern Local School District, agreed to a public reprimand for participating in matters related to his wife, Cathy Edwards, who also worked for the school district.

Over the course of several years, Rick Edwards recommended continuation of his wife’s employment contract and participated in revising her job duties as the student-and-information-services coordinator, according to an article in the Athens News.

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