Anyone looking on the Warren Municipal Court website for an update in the zoning violation case against state Rep. Tom Letson would see the case was closed and transferred to Newton Falls Municipal Court on Sept. 4.
Anyone then looking on the website for Newton Falls Municipal Court would see there is no case in that court for the misdemeanor charge against Letson.
The case still exists, it's just in a limbo of sorts.
Warren Municipal Court judges Tom Gysegem and Terry Ivanchak wanted the case transferred to avoid a conflict, a good enough reason given that Letson has been an acting judge there. So, the charge against Letson was sent packing to the Falls' court.
But the folks in Newton Falls sent it back, not because there were issues with hearing the case in the court where Letson has worked as an assistant city prosecutor, but the transfer needed approval from the Ohio Supreme Court, which would assign a judge to handle the case, said Newton Falls bailiff Terry Wentworth.
Warren Municipal Court Clerk of Court Peggy Scott said in an email there was no procedural issue. Rather, Newton Falls just would not take the case. ''Tom used to be the prosecutor out there,'' she wrote in an email.
She wrote she's asked the Supreme Court to appoint a visiting judge to hear the case and is waiting on that appointment.
Letson, a Democrat in his fourth consecutive two-year term in the Ohio House (he cannot run in the next election because of term limits), was charged Aug. 26 with violating Warren's zoning regulations. He's accused of using a home he owns on Foster Drive N.E. as a boarding or rooming house, which is not an acceptable use for a dwelling in that neighborhood.
Letson said he rented the home to two men who are using it to help people recover from addiction.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The race for mayor of Youngstown has entered the realm of truly bizarre.
One independent candidate, John Crea, spends about as much time in jail as he does on the campaign trail. Crea, 46, was still in the Mahoning County Jail on Friday from his arrest Wednesday on charges of aggravated menacing that stem from threats he reportedly made to several people at his apartment building on Midlothian Boulevard.
Another independent candidate, DeMaine Kitchen, has been accused of sexual harassment by a female city employee. Kitchen denies the allegations made by Lindsey Hughes, director of downtown events and special projects, who claims Kitchen has made sexual advances toward her over a two-year period, beginning in 2011.
Kitchen also found himself explaining his trouble with staying current on his property taxes and other financial and tax troubles.
Incidentally, a special investigator was hired Friday to look into the sexual harassment claims.
Democratic nominee John A. McNally has the specter of the Oakhill Renaissance Place corruption probe over his head, but this has been pushed aside with all the other weirdness going on.
The charges against McNally and others have been dropped at the request of prosecutors.
And Dave Betras, chair of the Mahoning County Democratic Party, was and probably still is in the hot seat over his removing three black people from the party's executive committee for their showing support at a mayoral debate for Kitchen, who is black, and not the endorsed candidate, McNally, who is white.
The committee members said they were humiliated by Betras' treatment of them by his publicly announcing their removal rather than in private.