July 24, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
62°F

Subpoena for clerk documents rejected

CLEVELAND — A federal judge rejected subpoenas requested by a former Medina County chief deputy clerk in her suit against Clerk of Courts David Wadsworth.

Julie Kauffman wanted subpoenas issued to county Prosecutor Dean Holman and county sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Kevin Ross to acquire documents concerning the investigation into allegations that Wadsworth used his office in his election campaign last year.

David Wadsworth

Wadsworth pleaded no contest Sept. 4 to misusing funds, a first-degree misdemeanor. He was allowed to enter a first-offender counseling program. If he completes the program, the charge will be dropped.

Judge Donald C. Nugent, of the U. S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio, ruled Wednesday that Holman and Ross don’t have to submit to subpoenas because the documents are protected as investigatory materials until Wadsworth’s case is concluded.

The first-offender program typically lasts between six months and a year, program director Lenny Hrovat said in September, and is used to divert defendants from repeat offending.

Kauffman’s suit against Wadsworth, filed in June, accuses the clerk of violating her First Amendment right to free speech by firing her in retaliation for telling the prosecutor that Wadsworth used clerk’s office materials in his campaign, pressured his workers to vote for him, kept a map of his campaign yard signs in his office and filmed a political advertisement in the clerk’s office.

Kauffman is seeking reinstatement of her job, damages from the county and from Wadsworth, attorneys’ fees and a declaratory judgment that Wadsworth violated her rights.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.