BEREA, Ohio - A trial for a mayor facing domestic violence charges was dismissed shortly before it was set to begin.
Olmsted Falls Mayor Ann Marie Donegan was facing several charges including domestic violence. The judge said he made the ruling because a key piece of evidence, an audio recording, was unintelligible.
The mayor was charged in August after police were called to Donegan’s house by a relative, who said the mayor’s 11-year-old son called crying.
"There was a lot of yelling, a lot of silence," said Andrea Prezbys, the mayor's sister.
Prezby taped the phone call and gave it to police. She said she taped the conversation because she was concerned for her nephew.
Police said there was no physical altercation.
The mayor's friends said she is a good mother and these charges were trumped up by a police department that doesn't like her. Police officials disagree, saying the mayor was treated like everyone else.
But her attorney said she should have never been charged.
"It's not domestic violence , it's not aggravated managing, it's not against the law in Ohio to yell at your child," said attorney Brian Fallon, who represents the mayor.
The mayor would not talk to us after the court hearing but released this statement:
"The court saw through these groundless charges and I'm glad it's over. No family should ever have to experience this. It's been tough for both of us, but remarkably it has made us stronger. I'm looking forward to moving beyond this with a renewed focus on my family."
Prosecutors said they plan to appeal.