Judge Vettori anticipated need to resign from Sebring Court
Judge disqualified from serving while her case remains unresolved
By Justin Wier
Three Mahoning County area judges will divide up the casework from the Sebring court after its judge, Diane Vettori, was charged with federal theft charges.
A news release sent Wednesday said Judge Vettori left a voicemail with Judge Scott Hunter, who is the administrative and presiding judge of the Mahoning County Area Courts, which did not address specifics, but suggested a possible need to resign.
Judge Vettori, 49, of Canfield, faces charges in federal court after accusations that she stole at least $92,600 from a former client’s home after the client died.
If Judge Vettori submits her resignation, Gov. John Kasich would appoint a judge to complete her term. Her term expires in January 2019.
U.S. Attorneys also accused Judge Vettori of making multiple deposits to several banks in order to avoid federal reporting requirements for deposits of more than $10,000 and lying to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents when confronted about the matter.
Judge Vettori also recused herself last week from the trial of James Bates, former water-system administrator in Sebring, for failing to notify customers of excessive lead levels in the water.
The Vindicator later learned Judge Vettori had retained Atty. John Juhasz, who represents Bates, to represent her in her federal case.
The news release from the area courts assured people with business before the court there would be no inconvenience caused to the public and no reduction in access to the court and its services.
Area court Judges Hunter, Joseph Houser and David D’Apolito will assume responsibilities at the Sebring court. They preside over courts in Canfield, Boardman and Austintown, respectively.
A court official said no further comments will be made at this time.
Judge Vettori did not answer calls Tuesday and Wednesday from The Vindicator. She has served as Sebring’s judge since her election in 2002.
The Ohio Supreme Court disqualified Judge Vettori from serving as a judge while her case remains unresolved.