Former assistant prosecutor appeals order upholding his firing


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

A former Mahoning County assistant prosecutor is appealing a decision from the state Personnel Board of Review that upheld the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s decision to fire him.

Prosecutor Paul J. Gains fired Martin Desmond on April 6 after Desmond reportedly had discussions with people outside the office about a case with which he was not involved.

Desmond used the county’s account on Westlaw, a computer research tool for lawyers, to research civil law claims that appeared in a federal lawsuit filed against the county, which was dismissed by a federal judge.

Desmond cited whistleblower protections in an appeal to the personnel board, claiming he was fired because he reported misconduct in the prosecutor’s office.

The board rejected that appeal Sept. 22.

Desmond’s attorneys filed an appeal in the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Friday that claims the board’s order “is not supported by reliable, probative and substantial evidence and is not in accordance with law.”

The appeal has been assigned to Judge Lou A. D’Apolito.

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