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Expresses opinion about candidate

To the editor:

Since transparency is such a huge issue with people, I’ll state up front that my wife and I have no previous acquaintances with Vito Abruzzino (VA), and that both of us have been friends with Shelley Bergman and her late husband Kim since all of us attended school at United. Even though we are both registered Republicans, we are proud to say that we have always voted for the person we feel has the best qualifications, not their party affiliation. I am also a lifelong resident of Columbiana County and the Winona area. I have never had any issues with John Gamble (JG) in the past. But this election for prosecutor has raised some concerns I have with him which are stated below:

1) Questionable traffic accident: After reviewing the accident report, it states there was rain, you lost control on a straight section of the road, a failure to control citation was issued, and no drug/alcohol test was given.

After talking with a local officer, they stated that typically a drug/alcohol test is administered in those type of situations. And there’s the rumor that the investigating officer went off duty for an hour during that time period. Interesting why you didn’t have to take a test. Just saying!!

2) FaceBook page picture in violation of the Hatch Act: Concerning your FB page picture with civil service officers, you could have made this entire issue go away by simply removing this picture. Does this sound like one of many stupid laws? Yes it does. But it is a law, and you of all people should know that you can’t pick and choose which laws you obey. So instead, you’re costing thousands of public dollars to prosecute you.

3) You have prosecuted “thousands” of cases in Columbiana County. Searching the court dockets, since 1980, I’ve found a total of 495 cases in Common Pleas court that you’ve been involved in. One of these as a plaintiff, and three as a defendant. In Municipal Court there are 30 cases, and again one as a plaintiff, and 2 as the defendant. One of these cases is where you were found in contempt with a $5,000 fine. I’m concerned with you not showing respect for the court causing this contempt citation. Please don’t try to say it was the judge’s bias. So between the two courts, removing your personal cases, you’ve been involved with 518 cases. And of these 518, you still have a total of 74, (14%), open cases. Not quite thousands prosecuted and quite a large number open!

4) And now the main reason I’m writing this letter. It’s the fact that JG obtained personal medical information concerning Mrs. Bergman’s daughter who had recently just passed away due to natural causes, and was passing it out to other people at Pinky’s Lounge. I would like to know if there was alcohol involved here? Remember there are witnesses! You’ve indicated that this was public information. It may be public information now, but it wasn’t at that time, and you used your job title to obtain this information from the county medical examiner’s office. I seriously doubt if the average person would have contacted them, the information would have been obtained. And then you and Prosecutor Herron have the nerve to try and turn this into a political issue. It’s insulting that you said that “they are weaponizing her death!” and try to turn this around onto Mrs. Bergman. Shame on you!! She refrained from filing a lawsuit against you. As much as I’m opposed to frivolous lawsuits, being the parents of three children, if you would have wronged one of our children, I would have come after you and probably would have sued you.

What possible motive could you have had to obtain this information, and even worse spread it to one person or multiple people? There was, and is, no legal cases pending in her death that would involve you. And then you try to apologize to her via text instead of calling her or better yet do it in person.

Even though it’s yet to be determined if JG has violated the actual law with a couple of the above issues, I feel all of them bring into question his ethics, integrity, and lack of accountability. He keeps talking about VA’s lack of experience and learning on the job. I have no doubt with VA’s job record, his experience is not going to be a problem.

Contrary to what Herron and JG has said, according to a local police officer, the relationship between local law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office is not warm and fuzzy. Herron has ruled using fear and has refused to prosecute numerous cases where the evidence was overwhelming. In fact, it will be nice to have someone new to the prosecutor’s office to bring in new ideas and break up the “good old boy” system, and hopefully build a better working environment with our local police. I’m sure 30 years ago when JG joined the prosecutor’s office, he didn’t have a lot of experience and learned on the job, the same as what he’s now trying to hold against VA. Vito has our votes for a better county1

BOB LANCE,

Salem

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