AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Austintown trustees held their regularly scheduled meeting earlier Monday night. There was some unusual chatter amongst attendees before the meeting started. Three police officers entered the township building as well.
Trustees Monica Deavers, Steve Kent and Robert Santos sat at the meeting. When it was time for public response, Austintown resident Matthew Roselle was the first to speak. He addressed the criminal charges and civil lawsuit Kent is facing. They include three counts of sexual battery as well as tampering with evidence.
“If we’re an Austintown community, we’re supposed to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We have three officers over there, we have everybody here — the chief of police, we have the chief of fire. We have everybody here. None of you would be here if you were in the same spot as the person right here [points to Kent],” Roselle said.
Before Roselle spoke, Kent reminded the attendees that the comments were supposed to involve Austintown. He mentioned that there should be no comments about anything personal with the trustees. However, Roselle says he felt he had to say something.
“If he is supposed to be the person leading Austintown into 2023, that’s ridiculous,” Roselle said.
At this point of the public comment, Kent started to intervene.
Roselle: “This man is still in front of you.”
Kent: “That’s enough. You can sit down.”
Roselle: “Throwing out candy, going in a parade.”
Kent: “That’s it, we’re done. We’re done.”
Roselle: “I’m still talking. I’m still talking.”
Roselle ended up taking a seat. After public response, they moved to remarks from board members. However, this was shortly interrupted as Roselle brought up the charges Kent is facing.
“That’s it. I want him removed. I want him removed,” Deavers said.
Roselle wasn’t removed and the meeting was quickly ended. We caught up with Roselle after the meeting.
“The victim’s family, I do not know them. I have no skin in the game. I don’t know anybody here. As I have told them, I have nobody in this game, period. I’m just doing what’s right,” Roselle said.
We asked Kent for comment but he directed us to his attorney.