YOUNGSTOWN — Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court postponed his retirement by a month, just enough time to eliminate a special election for the two-plus years remaining on his term.
Judge Evans moved his retirement from Sept. 1 to Oct. 1, saying today that the timing of his departure has nothing do with a Nov. 4 election for his seat.
He declined to elaborate on his reasoning for postponing his departure one month.
“It’s a very personal thing that I have explained to the [Ohio] Supreme Court,” he said.
But, in a letter Wednesday written to Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, obtained by The Vindicator, Judge Evans states the election was a factor in his decision to postpone his retirement.
Delaying his retirement by a month “will allow my successor as appointed by Gov. [John] Kasich to have an extended period of time in office while completing my current term before having to run in the general election,” the judge wrote.
County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras is livid that Judge Evans changed his retirement date.
“It seems to me the voters in Mahoning County have been denied the opportunity to pick who their judge is,” he said. “It’s not Judge Evans’ seat. It’s not the governor’s seat. It belongs to the voters.”
For the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator and Vindy.com