Jury chosen for Ohio trial of mayor who’s also a comedian




HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A jury was chosen Monday for the trial of a veteran standup comedian who has appeared on late-night TV and is now an Ohio mayor accused of official misconduct.

Two-term Republican Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings faces four felony counts, The Times-Gazette in Hillsboro (http://bit.ly/2fiauI3 ) reported.

Hastings' attorney, James Boulger, has blasted the accusation that he falsified his residency by pointing out that Ohio's attorney general already investigated the matter in 2013 and arguing it's not an issue for a jury to consider. He says other charges are misleading.

Special prosecutor Robert F. Smith of the Ohio auditor's office has said water records and furnishings show Hastings' real residence is his farm outside the city, not his downtown apartment.

Retired Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove is hearing the case after a Highland County judge recused himself. Opening statements are expected Tuesday.

Hastings was handily re-elected to a second four-year term last November.

An unusually large pool of about 80 people was summoned for his case, which has been closely watched and debated in Hillsboro. The city, with a population of 6,600 people, is 60 miles east of Cincinnati.

Cosgrove has ordered trial participants not to discuss the case with the news media or comment about it on social media.

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Information from: Times-Gazette, http://www.timesgazette.com
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