The clerk of courts of in Fairfield County was elected back in 2006 (after having gained the position initially by appointment to complete the unexpired term of a predecessor) and has been in the position ever since. Her husband used to be a city councilman, though he now sells real estate. He is also the general manager of a halfway house called the Community Transition Center. These two Ohio public servants are now facing felony charges.

The same people who once endorsed the clerk of courts are now calling for her resignation. The woman is accused of office theft and using county resources for her campaign, including giving her employees time off for their help on her campaign. She could end up in prison for up to three years if convicted.

Her husband has been charged with being complicit in obtaining an “unlawful” interest in a public contract. According to authorities, he assisted his wife twice in this manner. If he is convicted, he could jailed for up to 18 months.

An audit of the clerk’s office has also been initiated in conjunction with the investigation that led to the arrest of the clerk and her husband. It is not known what evidence authorities believe they have to substantiate the charges against these two people. Both have served the public in one capacity or another without any indication of wrongdoing for years.

It will be up to Ohio prosecutors to prove the felony charges they have filed against this couple. In the meantime, the couple is out on bail. They have been directed to surrender any guns, their passports and to remain in the state. The husband and wife are likely battling the court of public opinion in addition to the pending criminal charges. They will need to ensure that their legal rights remain intact as they seek a fair and impartial hearing and fight for favorable resolutions within the criminal justice system.

Source: dispatch.com, Fairfield County clerk of courts, husband charged with felonies, Mary Beth Lane, Oct. 3, 2013