By Bob Sandrick, special to cleveland.com
STRONGSVILLE, Ohio – Ohio Auditor Dave Yost’s office is investigating possible Sunshine Law and executive session violations related to City Council’s recent attempt to fill two vacant council seats.
Ben Marrison, Yost’s director of communications, confirmed with cleveland.com that at least one complaint about the matter was filed with his office. He provided no other details, including who may have filed the complaint or complaints, although one council applicant acknowledged that she contacted the auditor’s office.
“We received a complaint and it’s under review,” Marrison said. “We don’t discuss ongoing reviews.”
Last week, city officials announced that council would start the process of filling the vacant Ward 2 and Ward 3 council seats all over again. This was after some of the 18 applicants to the positions said council violated state Sunshine Law.
Some applicants said City Council contacted them Jan. 7 and told them they had not been selected for the jobs. The problem was that up until then, the council had met only in private, executive sessions to discuss the applicants. The 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 that two of the five remaining council members – Michael Daymut and Gordon Short – had been left out of the selection process. She said Councilmen Jim Carbone, Joe DeMio and Matt Schonhut chose the winning Ward 2 and Ward 3 applicants.