NEWTON FALLS - Former Mayor Patrick Layshock's political influence charges are expected to be dismissed by a visiting judge Nov. 2 in Ravenna, according to Layshock's attorney.
The charges that followed an Ohio Ethics Commission investigation were scheduled to be heard in front of a jury Tuesday, but the case was continued after a deal was worked out between Layshock's attorney, Michael Rossi, and an attorney for the commission.
''It's an agreed disposition. We're still working out the language. It won't result in any conviction for Pat,'' Rossi said Thursday.
He said details of the agreement will be announced Nov. 2 in Portage Municipal Court, where retired Judge Barbara Watson was hearing the case that was moved from Newton Falls in an effort to seat an impartial jury.
Layshock was charged in January with two counts of a first-degree misdemeanor alleging he improperly attempted to aid his brother's business interests while he was mayor.
The charges came after the Ethics Commission investigation, which then recommended the charges be filed by local Law Director and Prosecutor Joe Fritz. The charges alleged one violation occurred between Jan. 22 and Feb. 2 of 2009 and the second charge pinpointed a timeframe from Feb. 3 to Feb. 23 of 2009.
Newton Falls Municipal Judge Philip Vigorito recused himself shortly after charges were filed.
The charges stem from attempts to develop a Forum Health medical center on land owned by Layshock's brother, Kenneth, and a business partner along state Route 534 in the village.
''I will attest to certain facts in the case. But I believe my actions were legal then and just as legal now,'' Layshock said Thursday.
''I can admit to going to a meeting at the Saratoga (Restaurant) where we talked about a stimulus, or Obama grant. But that body had no authority or power to move on the grant. After meetings, City Council voted to apply for the grant and I didn't attend the meeting to avoid any conflict of interest,'' Layshock said.
Layshock ''participated directly and indirectly in meetings, discussions, deliberations and other actions intended to benefit the business interests of his brother Kenneth Layshock,'' according to the complaints that were being prosecuted by Julie Korte of the Ethics Commission.
Kenneth Layshock was never charged with anything.
Kenneth Layshock said in January that he and his business partner had met with officials of Forum Health and several area political and economic leaders for a breakfast meeting Feb. 10, 2009, at Saratoga Restaurant in downtown Warren. He said the intent of the meeting was to determine how to go about obtaining federal stimulus grant money to develop a medical center on the Newton Falls property.
Ken Layshock said in attendance were representatives from the offices of U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, former state Rep. Sandra Stabile Harwood, Ohio Sen. Capri Cafaro, the Trumbull County Planning Commission, the Regional Chamber, former Forum Health Chief Executive Officer Walter ''Buzz'' Pishkur and Ken Layshock's contractor. Also in attendance from Newton Falls were then-Mayor Pat Layshock, city manager Jack Haney, and at least two members of Newton Falls council.
A short time later Newton Falls filed an application seeking $631,964 in federal grants for infrastructure and permits that would help enable the medical center to be developed on his property. Ken Layshock said the paperwork was authorized by council and submitted by Haney. The project never came to fruition.
Pat Layshock was recalled by voters in November 2010, removing him from his office and replacing him with current mayor Lyle Waddell.
The ex-mayor said he was never approached by Ethics Commission investigators until nearly two years after the Saratoga meeting and he cooperated fully with the investigation.