By Bob Sandrick, special to cleveland.com

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – City Council, due to possible state Sunshine Law violations and behind-the-scenes intrigue, will start the process of filling two vacant City Council seats all over again.

This past weekend, council members contacted several applicants to the vacant Ward 2 and Ward 3 council positions and told them they had not been selected for the jobs. The problem is that so far, council has met only in private, executive sessions to discuss the applicants, and Ohio Sunshine Law prohibits any official action or vote in executive session.

Further, Erin Sullivan Lally – who had applied for the Ward 2 council seat – said Monday on her Facebook page that two of the remaining five council members had been left out of the selection process.

On Tuesday, Lally told cleveland.com that “to the best of my knowledge,” Councilmen Jim Carbone, Joe DeMio and Matt Schonhut chose the winning Ward 2 and Ward 3 applicants without notifying Councilmen Michael Daymut and Gordon Short.

“It sounds like the D.C.-style crony politics we were warned about,” Lally told her Facebook friends Monday. “But you know that I am more about providing quality public service than playing dirty, questionable payoff politics.”

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