Lisha Pompili-Baumiller files as write-in candidate

Councilwoman given 90-day jail suspended sentence, probation over election petitions

HUBBARD — Democratic Councilwoman Lisha Pompili-Baumiller was sentenced Tuesday for being untruthful on nominating petitions she filed to run for re-election in the 3rd Ward.

Afterward, she went to the Trumbull County Board of Elections to file as a write-in candidate for the seat she couldn’t run for in May because those petitions that resulted in the charges were rejected.

Pompili-Baumiller, 55, was given a 90-day suspended jail sentence, placed on two years probation and fined $1,000 for making false affidavits or statements concerning an election petition. She pleaded guilty to the two misdemeanor charges in July.

They were the result of a police investigation into irregularities the board uncovered with Pompili-Baumiller’s petitions while they were being reviewed for fitness for her to run for the Democratic nomination in the ward.

The investigation revealed Pompili-Baumiller did not witness the signatures of two men despite pledging she did on the nominating petitions filed Jan. 9 and then in an affidavit swearing she witnessed both of the questionable signatures. It was determined the men’s wives signed for their spouses.

Separate from the investigation, the elections board in February rejected her candidacy because her petitions fell short of the required signatures due to the double signatures.

When a double signature is found, the whole part of that petition is invalidated. In this case, she had 24 signatures rejected, leaving her with seven valid signatures. She needed 25 valid signatures and submitted 31.

But Ohio law gives her another bite at the apple.

She is allowed to run as a write-in candidate for the same office because, despite filing to run as a Democrat, her candidacy was not submitted to voters because her nominating petitions were not certified. The Ohio Supreme Court has held the primary election and general election are separate elections rather than two parts of the same election.

“It’s a totally different election,” said Stephanie Penrose, elections board director.

Monday is the filing deadline for write-in candidates to declare their intent to run in November.