Chief Justice Appoints Commission to Consider Mahoning County Auditor Suspension
After waiting the required 14 days, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor today appointed a special three-judge commission to consider the suspension of Mahoning County Auditor Michael V. Sciortino, who’s been charged with felonies relating to official conduct in office.
On May 29, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed an action at the Ohio Supreme Court to commence the suspension proceedings.
Ohio Revised Code section 3.16 spells out the process for such actions and establishes that the commission must include retired judges or justices, one of whom must be of the same political party as the public official.
The retired judges named to the commission are:
- Retired Second District Court of Appeals Judge Thomas J. Grady.
- Retired Hardin County Common Pleas Court Judge David C. Faulkner.
- Retired Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Timothy S. Hogan.
According to the statute, within 14 days, the special commission must make a preliminary determination about whether Sciortino should be suspended from office. Sciortino may contest the preliminary determination – if it recommends a suspension – within 14 days of being notified and appear at a commission meeting to present his case. That meeting must be held within 14 days of the notice by Sciortino to contest the preliminary findings. At the conclusion of the meeting, the special commission would then issue its final determination and issue a written report.
Pursuant to R.C. 3.16(C)(2), “all meetings of the special commission shall be closed to the public” and “the records of the special commission shall not be made available to the public for inspection or copying until the special commission issues its written report.”
R.C. 3.16 most recently was used earlier this year when the Richland County Prosecutor asked the Chief Justice to begin suspension proceedings against Worthington Township Trustee E. Clark Swank who was charged with a felony relating to official conduct in office.
View the case announcement appointing the special three-judge commission in In re Sciortino.