The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will apparently not be handling charges that may arise from an investigation into allegations against Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings.
Contacted Wednesday evening, Highland County Common Pleas Judge Rocky Coss confirmed that he has not approved the motion for the attorney general’s office to handle the case, as initially requested by Anneka Collins, the county prosecutor.
Collins announced several days ago that she had asked the attorney general’s office to step in. But when contacted Wednesday, Collins said the judge had declined to sign off on bringing in that office.
Coss confirmed that information on Wednesday, and said he would file an order on Thursday appointing a special prosecutor. Coss said that ultimately the appointment of a special prosecutor is up to the court.
“The court makes the decision,” said Coss, citing case law. He declined to discuss his reason for his decision not to approve bringing in the attorney general’s office, saying he would file an entry on Thursday.
The Highland County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation into allegations involving the refund of a $500 vacant building fee that Hastings received, along with claims by city workers that Hastings has used city dumpsters to dispose of items from his personal properties. Sources have said other allegations are also being probed.
A civil suit filed against Hastings by five Hillsboro residents in regard to the $500 refund was dismissed Friday by Judge Kevin Greer in Highland County Probate Court.