Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a complaint with the Ohio Supreme Court asking it to require the judicial panel deciding whether to suspend Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino from office to follow the procedure DeWine says is prescribed by state law.
The panel of three retired judges ruled that Sciortino’s lawyer, John B. Juhasz, is entitled to fully participate in its suspension hearing as Sciortino’s legal representative.
However, state law says Sciortino has a right to be accompanied in the hearing by his lawyer, but that lawyer is not entitled to advocate for him, present evidence or examine or cross-examine witnesses, De Wine said in his filing.
DeWine is trying to get Sciortino suspended under a state law that allows suspension of public officials charged with job-related felonies.
Sciortino faces 16 felony counts and six misdemeanor counts for what prosecutors say was his role in trying to impede the move of Mahoning County’s Department of Job and Family Services from Cafaro Co.-owned rented quarters on Youngstown’s East Side to the county-owned Oakhill Renaissance Place.
The county bought Oakhill in 2006 and moved JFS there in 2007.
The Oakhill indictment, which was dismissed in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court in 2011, was refiled this year in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.