Trumbull Co. Commissioner Frenchko attorney to enter 'not guilty' plea
A hearing is scheduled in Warren Municipal Court Friday after Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko was arrested during Thursday's Board of Commissioners meeting.
However, her attorney Dave Betras told 21 News that Frenchko will not appear before a judge. Betras says he intends to submit a written "not guilty" plea for Frenchko.
Frenchko was arrested by Trumbull County Sheriff's Department during the meeting and was booked and charged with disturbing a lawful meeting. Frenchko was released from the jail just before 1 p.m.
According to Trumbull County commissioner Mauro Cantalamassa, the incident that led to the disruption of Thursday's meeting goes back to the commissioners' June 1 meeting, when Frenchko read a letter from a family member of a Trumbull County inmate that alleged not to be receiving medical attention while incarcerated.
According to the notes from the meeting, Frenchko contacted Sheriff Paul Monroe's office asking for the standard operating procedures when inmates request medical treatment. Frenchko said she had not received responses to her emails from the sheriff.
Catalamassa told 21 News that during the reading of Sheriff Monroe's response by commissioners clerk Paula Vivoda-Klotz, Frenchko disrupted the reading of the letter in public and that he and commissioner Anthony Fuda asked to let the clerk finish.
Cantalamassa said it was "an unfortunate situation" and said that with it is healthy to debate issues and that the lack of courtesy is not good for the people of Trumbull County.
The sheriff's letter dated July 5 stated "Commissioner Frenchko has not provided an official complaint, a copy of the letter to the Sheriff's Office, or otherwise sought to have an investigation commenced..."
21 News is speaking with Frenchko and the commissioners Thursday afternoon. Be sure to watch 21 News at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. for updates on this story, and check back to WFMJ.com for updates.