HURON, Ohio-- An attorney representing a local couple is asking that a special prosecutor be appointed to criminally investigate Huron city officials for alleged retaliation against his clients.
Atty. Subodh Chandra sent a letter Thursday to Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter asking for the investigation.
"I write on behalf of my clients, Jason and Stacy Hinners, to request that your office appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the potentially criminal campaign by Huron's mayor, a council member, and potentially other officials to interfere with the Hinnerses civil rights," the letter states.
Baxter told the FOX 8 I-Team Friday he is reviewing the request and is expected to make a decision soon.
The couple filed a lawsuit against council alleging violations of the Ohio Public Meeting Act.
Two weeks ago, the day the lawsuit was filed, Stacy Hinners went to council and discussed the lawsuit during the public comment portion of the meeting. Mayor Brad Hartung ordered her to sit down after he said her three minutes were up.
Hinners argued with the mayor for additional minutes but sat down when he refused to grant more time. The mayor accused Hinners of disturbing a public meeting. Others at the meeting disagreed.
Hartung has not returned several calls asking to discuss the matter.
After Hinners sat down, the meeting continued, but was disrupted a few minutes later when two police officers entered and ordered Hinners to leave. She refused. She was handcuffed and removed from the meeting. She faces charges of disturbing a public meeting and resisting arrest. She has entered not guilty pleas and is due back in court June 14.
"Beyond the unconstitutional prosecution of Ms. Hinners, we have learned that another Huron council member, Glen Ginesi, has been targeting Jason Hinners as well for his lawful speech criticizing the government," Chandra stated in the letter.
Jason Hinners stated at a council meeting Tuesday that Ginesi approached his parish priest.
"He felt that I was acting in a non-Christian way for criticizing council for a lack of transparency," Hinners said.
Chandra said Ginesi contacted the priest and opposed Jason Hinners being ordained as a deacon.
Chandra included an affidavit from the priest with his letter.
Ginesi could not be reached for comment.