In a surprise move, president of the Trumbull County commissioners Denny Malloy introduced a resolution to formally censure commissioner Niki Frenchko during a Wednesday morning meeting.

The resolution was proposed following a confrontation between Frenchko and the county clerk over whether the commissioners were provided documentation required to make decisions on a number of items, including county contracts, where Frenchko called for the clerk to be fired. 

The resolution condemned Frenchko, alleging a history of disruptive behavior, including "routine" use of "belligerent, aggressive, profane, disrespectful, and unprofessional language when speaking at public meetings held by the Board of Trumbull County Commissioners and towards Trumbull County employees," according to a copy of the document acquired by 21 News.

While the resolution to censure Frenchko passed and is official, it is symbolic and does not carry any legal penalties or consequences. It also does not limit her ability to speak freely or participate as a commissioner.

"She has a right for her first amendment free speech to talk about anything she wants," Malloy said. "When you go in a direction where it's degrading, when you go in a direction where it's name calling, where it's catty, where you're not gonna work well with others, we had to draw the line and say 'we censure your comments, we censure your words, your attitude, we're not going to stand for it.' This isn't going to be a circus anymore." 

Commissioner Niki Frenchko said the move to censure her was an attempt by the other commissioners to silence her.

"They have tried to shut me up to the point where they arrested me," Frenchko said. "Now they learned quite quickly in court that they weren't allowed to arrest me and this is just another step for them to try to quiet a dissenting opinion."

"If people aren't doing things correctly, such as our clerk, I'm going to discuss it. And I will publicly criticize. And when they don't approve of my criticisms, they can't arrest me anymore, so they resorted to something that's completely meaningless," she added. 

Frenchko also said she stands by her previous claims regarding the clerk during the meeting, and that not being provided proper documentation was the reason she did not vote on eight issues on the agenda. 

"As an elected official, we are responsible for voting on things we review," Frenchko explained. "And this week, and every other week, there are things that make it to our agenda that shouldn't make it to our agenda because we weren't provided the information."