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Abruzzino responds, details legal experience

LISBON — Vito Abruzzino, the Republican running for county prosecutor, responded by email late Friday about his opponent, Chief Assistant County Prosecutor John Gamble’s response on Thursday to the accusation that Gamble was violating Ohio laws by having classified police officers appearing to endorse him on his campaign Facebook page.

As an officer of the court, Abruzzino said Gamble has a sworn obligation not to misrepresent official matters of U.S. and state court records and to abide by state laws, “most especially when the breach of such laws have been brought to his attention by the attorney general of the state, which he is publicly flaunting.”

While reacting to the attack from the Columbiana County Republican Party and Ohio Attorney General David Yost, Gamble had questioned Abruzzino’s lack of prosecution experience in Ohio. Abruzzino responded Friday by sharing his lengthy record both in the private sector and in 20 years of military service.

He said he has spent the past eight years as a member of two of the area’s largest law firms and has handled civil, probate, domestic, government affairs, oil and gas litigation and criminal matters, practicing in both Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Additionally, Abruzzino said during three years as a U.S. Army JAG officer he prosecuted felony-level and misdemeanor-level offenses responsible for prosecuting heinous crimes including sexual assault, drug distribution, grand theft and child abuse/neglect. He went on to talk about his other military legal experience including of serving as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney with the Department of Justice prosecuting in federal civilian court; a federal public defender for the U.S. Army (Trial Defense Service); and as a federal prosecutor/command legal adviser for the U.S. Air Force, serving as Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (DSJA) for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

“So, I will now add to the calls for my opponent to immediately cease and desist with his distortions about my extensive legal record and his blatant and willful violations of Ohio law governing classified employees,” Abruzzino wrote, “in effect causing city police officers, who are in the classified service of their respective cities, to appear in his partisan political advertisements.”

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