TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WYTV) – Trumbull County has a new commissioner. After a two-month legal battle, a Stark County judge ruled in favor of recently elected Republican Niki Frenchko.
“What we have in this circumstance is the contestee saying not one found out that I was the sole custodial, residential parent for this child during the period of protest, and because nobody found out, I get to get away with this,” said Rick Brunner, former commissioner Dan Polivka’s attorney.
Attorneys on both sides argued before the judge Wednesday morning.
“The timing to challenge Miss Frenchko’s qualifications to be a candidate for office has long past,” said Joseph Szeman, Frenchko’s attorney.
Both Frenchko and Polivka were questioned by attorneys before the judge on Wednesday.
“It’s a residential home. I live there residentially. I don’t have an actual office. In my living room, I have a print and a fax machine,” Frenchko said.
“Did she ever answer the question about whether or not she lived in Mentor, Ohio?” Brunner asked.
“No,” Polivka said.
Ultimately, Judge John Haas upheld an earlier ruling by the Trumbull County Board of Elections that Frenchko met the qualifications to run for Trumbull County commissioner.
“While the court finds there was reason for concern, the fact of the matter is that she has shown to this court’s satisfaction that she has a residence here,” Judge Haas said.
Frenchko was officially sworn in Wednesday as Trumbull County commissioner. She was joined by her three daughters for the ceremony.
“It’s huge honor. It is finally happening, and it’s a little surreal,” she said. “I’m excited to actually working and doing a great job.”
Frenchko’s term begins January 3.