Judges have ordered a state board to consider the appeal of a former employee of the Mahoning County Prosecutor's Office, who claims he was fired for reporting alleged misconduct by a fellow assistant prosecutor.

Ohio's Sixth District Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of former assistant prosecutor Martin Desmond who was fired by Prosecutor Paul Gains in April 2017.

Gains said Desmond was fired for several reasons, including making himself a witness in a case against the county, making false claims against a fellow assistant prosecutor, and failing to report those allegations of misconduct to the appropriate supervisor.

Desmond claims he was fired because he reported misconduct by a fellow assistant prosecutor, Dawn Cantalamessa, in her handling of a murder case and a related obstruction-of-justice case.

After reviewing Desmond's case, the State Personel Board of Review wouldn't hear his bid to gain protection as a whistleblower under state law. 

However, the appeals court found that the Board of Review's criteria for denying Desmond consideration was in error and has ordered the board to consider the merits of Desmond's appeal.