Friday, February 13, 2004

Prosecutor candidate rapped

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LEBANON - A candidate for Warren County prosecutor violated state election law by using campaign materials that implied he was already holding that office, the Ohio Elections Commission ruled Thursday.

The commission voted unanimously that David Fornshell of Lebanon, who prosecutes municipal cases in Blue Ash, had violated the law with materials that described him as "Republican, Conservative, Prosecutor."

The commission, however, voted against issuing a public reprimand, according to Executive Director Philip Richter, and Fornshell faces no other punishment.

The commission believes that a finding of a violation - and the publicity that may follow - "is sufficient penalty for some violations," Richter said.

Fornshell didn't return a telephone call for comment Thursday, but previously said he had no intention of misleading anyone.

The race has become contentious between Fornshell and his opponent in the March 2 primary, Prosecutor Rachel Hutzel.

"All we wanted was an acknowledgement from him that he violated the law - and he wouldn't do that," Hutzel said Thursday.

At a candidate forum Wednesday in Lebanon, Fornshell and Hutzel disagreed on all manner of issues, including who had secured more support from local police.

Erica Solvig contributed. E-mail

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