Additional hearing before decision on removing Mecca fiscal officer


WARREN

Judge Andrew Logan has set a second hearing for 10 a.m. Jan. 25 in the case filed by state officials seeking to remove Mecca Township fiscal officer Deborah Drawl from office.

Drawl and her attorney, Michael Rossi, participated in a Nov. 30 hearing in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court during which Drawl admitted that the township’s financial records were in terrible shape when it was time for the state to audit them in March 2017.

But she and Rossi argued that the township trustees prevented her from getting the training she needed to improve at the job by refusing to pay for the training and refusing to cooperate with her in other ways.

Rossi also argued that the expedited process under Ohio law being used by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office in an attempt to remove Drawl from office violated Drawl’s rights to due process.

Judge Logan said in a recent judgment entry that he finds the 14 days Drawl and her attorney were given between the date the removal action was filed and the date of the hearing was not enough.

“...the court finds the 14 days ... was not proper as it failed to comply with even the most basic tents of due process and application of civil rules,” the judge said.

The state and Rossi have filed additional briefs in the matter since the hearing, and Drawl and Rossi have now had sufficient time to prepare for a second hearing, the judge said.

Judge Logan will decide whether to approve Drawl’s removal after the hearing, Judge Logan said.

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