(WKBN) – The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that Eric Ungaro can’t recoup his attorney fees in his fight to get his name on the November 2022 ballot.
Ungaro fought to get his name on the ballot in the race for Ohio’s 59th District after the Mahoning County Board of Elections rejected his petitions, questioning his designation as an Independent candidate.
Ungaro took his case to the Supreme Court and won. He lost the race to Democrat Lauren McNally.
In an opinion released Monday, The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the Mahoning County Board of Elections does not have to pay Ungaro’s attorney fees.
To collect attorney fees for the prevailing party in Ohio, you have to show that the other party acted in bad faith. Ungaro said the board did just that, specifically, David Betras, who was chairman at the time, “had an ulterior motive, bad faith motive in refusing to certify the nominating petition,” according to court documents.
The panel wrote that even if Betras expressed bad faith, pointing to a voicemail that Betras left for Ungaro disparaging him, the board as a whole did not.
In addition, Betras and the board had asked that the voicemail evidence be stricken from the record. That request was denied, too.