Attorneys for ex-prosecutor accuse Paul Gains of stall tactics

Staff report


Attorneys for Martin Desmond accuse Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains and chief assistant Prosecutor Linette Stratford of engaging in stall tactics.

Attorneys representing the county filed a motion to stay discovery of evidence until a potential Ohio Supreme Court case is decided, but a filing in opposition claims there are ulterior motives.

Desmond’s lawsuit against the county accuses Gains and Stratford of defamation, intimidation and retaliation in connection with Desmond’s firing.

Gains said the lawsuit has no merit.

“[The motion] is for one purpose only – to allow Defendants Paul Gains and Linette Stratford to continue to avoid answering questions about their wrongful acts,” the filing reads.

Atty. Todd Raskin, who represents the county, said he filed the motion because the law clearly states public officials should not be burdened by unnecessary discovery.

The Supreme Court case concerns whether someone can recover civil damages for violations of a criminal statute without a prior criminal conviction – which could affect the majority of Desmond’s claims.

Visiting Judge H.F. Inderlied Jr. previously denied the county’s motion to dismiss several counts of the lawsuit on similar grounds.

Desmond’s attorneys argue that the high court may not take up the case and, regardless, they will require the same discovery for other claims put forth by Desmond.

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