The Latest: Mayor/standup comedian denies theft charges


CINCINNATI (AP) — The Latest on the indictment of Republican Hillsboro, Ohio, Mayor Drew Hastings, a veteran standup comedian (all times local):

3:35 p.m.

A small-city Ohio mayor who’s also a veteran standup comedian says he has done nothing wrong and blames political foes for his indictment on four felony counts.

Republican Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings faces charges of theft, theft in office, tampering with records and election falsification.

The state auditor’s office announced the grand jury action Tuesday. An official of that office was a court-appointed special prosecutor in the case.

Hastings says there’s nothing to the charges other than he’s trying to represent the city’s residents without the consent of the established political structure.

Republican Auditor Dave Yost says he’s confident a jury will find the evidence proves the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

Hastings is due in court July 27.

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2:15 p.m.

A small-city Ohio mayor who’s also a veteran standup comedian was indicted Tuesday on four felony counts including election falsification.

The Ohio auditor’s office announcement followed a months-long investigation of Republican Drew Hastings by special prosecutors appointed by a Highland County judge. The counts also include theft, theft in office and tampering with records.

Hastings said he was served with the indictment while having lunch at a Bob Evans restaurant and would comment later.

Among allegations probed were improper personal use of Hillsboro city trash bins, a $500 vacant building fee refund he received, and election falsification concerning his residency in the city of 6,600 residents, where he has a downtown apartment. He has called the investigation a politically motivated “witch hunt” and waste of taxpayers’ money.

The 62-year-old Hastings was re-elected last November to a second four-year term, winning 59 percent of the vote.

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