WARREN — Legal professional David Betras, defending Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko towards a cost of disturbing a lawful assembly, is looking the fourth-degree misdemeanor cost “ridiculous,” “outrageous,” “disgusting,” “alarming,” and “harmful.”
Frenchko didn’t bodily seem for her arraignment in Warren Municipal Court docket in entrance of Decide Terry Ivanchak however filed a written not responsible plea by way of Betras.
Frenchko was arrested through the commissioners’ common assembly Thursday as she tried to defend herself towards statements made by Trumbull County Sheriff Paul Monroe in a letter despatched to the commissioners. The letter demanded an apology from Frenchko for feedback she made throughout a June 1 public assembly questioning the medical remedy of a jail inmate.
After Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa after which a sheriff’s deputy mentioned Frenchko was being disruptive, she was led from the assembly room by two deputies, handcuffed, then processed and launched on the county jail.
“She was questioning a no-bid contract for a physician … and constituents had been writing to her in regards to the situation of the medical remedy (on the county jail), and so they arrested her for questioning the sheriff and never apologizing to the sheriff,” Betras mentioned. “That’s what they do in Russia. We don’t try this in America.”
Betras echoed Frenchko’s earlier declare that the arrest was a “setup” by the sheriff’s workplace.
After reviewing Frenchko’s case Friday morning, Ivanchak requested through mail that the Ohio Supreme Court docket appoint one other choose resulting from a battle of curiosity.
Warren Metropolis Regulation Director Enzo Cantalamessa, who heads the town prosecutor’s workplace, mentioned he might be requesting by way of the Warren Municipal Court docket that one other prosecutor deal with the case as nicely. Enzo Cantalamessa is Mauro Cantalamessa’s brother.
“As a result of I’m a commissioner’s brother, I’m conflicted,” Enzo Cantalamessa mentioned. “As a result of I’m conflicted, my total workers is conflicted.”
He mentioned whereas Frenchko’s arraignment Friday morning was within the metropolis’s court docket, it was the sheriff’s workplace that filed the fees, not the town.
A message left with the county sheriff’s workplace was not returned Friday.
On Thursday, Monroe mentioned Frenchko’s arrest was not a setup. He famous that commissioners Cantalamessa and Frank Fuda repeatedly requested Frenchko to cease interrupting clerk Paula Vivoda-Klotz as she was studying Monroe’s letter at Fuda’s request.
“The clerk was crying and asking to not be recorded by the commissioner. She stored interrupting the clerk as she was studying the letter. She was in misery,” Monroe mentioned.
Betras urged Frenchko’s arrest was a political transfer and mentioned, “we don’t jail our political opponents on this nation,” and that Frenchko was doing the job she was elected to do.
He mentioned his workplace goes to “vigorously defend” Frenchko. He then intends to sue the sheriff’s workplace and commissioners Cantalamessa and Fuda individually, he mentioned.
“The individuals of Trumbull County must be outraged that their sheriff and different county commissioners are actually performing like dictators in a democracy,” Betras mentioned. “It’s disgusting, it’s alarming and it’s harmful.”
As of Friday afternoon, a date was not set for Frenchko to return to court docket.