Common Pleas Commissioners and Judges File Motion to Dismiss Supreme Court Case

Feb. 3 — The Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners and judges of the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas filed petitions with the Ohio Supreme Court, seeking to deny a request from the county attorney of Ashtabula, Colleen O’Toole, who sought to force judges to set a salary. for a special investigator, among others.

O’Toole filed a petition with the Ohio Supreme Court, seeking various subpoenas, the first of which would require Common Pleas judges to set the salary of a special investigator and approve outside counsel for the DA’s office during the proceedings, thereby preventing the justices from letting the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners intervene in O’Toole’s request for funds for an investigator and prohibiting the justices from forcing her to testify regarding her request.

On Thursday, the commissioners and judges filed separate motions to dismiss. Both motions were based on the fact that the judges had recently set the investigator’s salary at the legal minimum of $125, and that the commissioners had accepted the salary and allocated funds for it, thus rendering the request moot. order directing judges to set a salary.

The justices’ motion to dismiss also argues that there now exists a final judgment that O’Toole can appeal through the usual channels.

O’Toole has called for the appointment of an investigator for a significant part of the last year.

A hearing was held in the summer of 2023, with the three Common Pleas Court judges presiding. Witnesses called by O’Toole during the hearing said investigators help smaller departments with their complex investigations.

O’Toole was ordered to take the stand at the hearing and withdrew his motion rather than testify.

She refiled her application in September. The request was for the investigator’s salary to be set at $75,000 per year.

The Ohio Supreme Court will have to rule on these motions.

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