Ohio Supreme Court taps visiting judge for Mahoning Probate Cour - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

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Ohio Supreme Court taps visiting judge for Mahoning Probate Court

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court has assigned retired judge, R.R. Denny Clunk to take over the duties of Mark Belinky, who resigned as Mahoning County Probate judge amid a state investigation.

Clunk will serve as a visiting judge until June 17, or until Governor John Kasich names someone to fill Belinky's term which expires in January of next year.

Kasich is expected to make his choice from candidates submitted by a screening committee supervised by the Mahoning County Republican Party.

Two candidates already interested in filling his position: attorneys Susan Maruca and Chris Sammarone.

Both Democrats are running in the primary election, but as the Republican Party chairman Mark Munroe begins the process of vetting candidates, he makes it clear the selection will not be based on the person's political party.

Governor John Kasich's office says it generally takes a few weeks to one month to make a decision once they receive the list.

Belinky submitted his letter of resignation on Friday. 

Last month agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and sheriff's deputies searched Belinky's courthouse office and his home.

According to a search warrant, investigators were looking for bank records, campaign finance reports, lists of donations and donors, ledgers, and any documentation, computers electronic storage devices, and electronic media.

As of this writing, no charges have been filed against the former judge. 

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