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Frenchko seeks to prevent the county from paying for Malloy’s legal representatives

WARREN — Commissioner Niki Frenchko sought to get a vote to prevent Trumbull County from paying for the legal defense of Commissioner Denny Malloy due to him talking about a possible $1 settlement offer made to Frenchko in a lawsuit she filed against her fellow commissioners.

Frenchko last week filed a motion for a contempt of court complaint in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court due to Malloy, on May 22, making a public statement on a $1 mediation offer to Frenchko.

In the complaint, Frenchko referred to a 2022 lawsuit filed against Commissioners Mauro Cantalamessa and Malloy that claimed they purged their cellphone text messages.

“We offered you a dollar to go away,” Malloy said to Frenchko during the May meeting. After further questioning, Malloy continued by saying Frenchko’s attorney rejected the county’s offer.

In her lawyer’s complaint, Frenchko noted discussions about the lawsuit and any offers made were supposed to remain confidential.

“Malloy cannot disclose self-serving tidbit of negotiations in mediation without violating the court’s local rules,” the complaint stated.

Frenchko, on Wednesday, said she wants to make sure the taxpayers are not paying for Malloy’s legal defense.

“You cannot go to Brodi (Conover) for legal defense,” she said. “He was hired to represent the board of commissioners.”

“I never said I would be using Brodi,” he said. “Are you guessing?”

“This is the person that wasted more taxpayers dollars than anyone in the history of Trumbull County. You filed your thing. That’s fine.”

Cantalamessa said if Brodi needs to recuse himself, “then he will do so.”

Frenchko then called for a motion to adjourn because Malloy was not running a meeting properly.

The motion died for a lack of a second.

She walked out of the meeting.

Frenchko, afterward said she left the meeting because she had a previously scheduled doctor’s appointment.

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