Trumbull engineer seeks ethics investigation into settlement - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Trumbull engineer seeks ethics investigation into settlement

NEWTON FALLS, Ohio- Trumbull County's Engineer Randy Smith is requesting an ethics investigation into a settlement stemming from a bridge project in Newton Falls.

The Newton Falls Covered Bridge project was the center of dueling lawsuits in 2006 when Trumbull county sued the contractor on the project and the contractor filed a counter suit.

"Evidently there were some problems with the project, and the county was responsible for paying a large amount of money," Frank Fuda said, Trumbull County commissioner.

County Engineer Randy Smith says the county paid the construction company $300,000 to settle the lawsuit. Smith says the case was settled after former engineer David DeChristofaro took office in 2009. Smith is now alleging the case may have been settled because DeChristofaro had an associaton with the contractor who benefitted from the settlement.

Now Smith wants the Ohio Ethics commission to investigate. Smith would not comment on camera today but told 21 News documents he recently obtained documents showing DeChristofaro not only knew the construction company official but he didn't reveal that association during two sworn depositions in the case.

An official in Smith's office says they just want to get to the bottom on things.

"We just want to make sure that the taxpayers of Trumbull County are definitely represented and ensured that everything was done in the best interest of the taxpayers," Donald Barzak said, director of governmental affairs in the county engineer's office.

DeChristofaro was unable to be reached for comment and the Ohio Ethics Commission will not comment on any plans to investigate.

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