HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — A judge on Monday scheduled a Nov. 7 trial for the mayor of a small Ohio city who’s also a veteran standup comedian.
A judge entered “not guilty” pleas Monday for Drew Hastings after the defense waived readings of the charges against him. Retired Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Ann Cosgrove is hearing the case after a local judge recused himself.
Cosgrove also warned those involved in the case about engaging in pretrial publicity, including in comments on social media.
“There has been a lot of publicity,” she said. “We’re going to try this case in the courtroom.”
Cosgrove set a pretrial hearing for Oct. 12
Hastings, a Republican, is Hillsboro’s second-term mayor. He was indicted last month on counts including election falsification and theft in office.
Hastings has said he has done nothing wrong other than try to lead the city without the consent of the “established political structure.”
The election falsification charge concerns his residency in the city of 6,600 residents, where he has a downtown apartment. He also has a farm outside of town. Other charges stem from a $500 city fee refund for a vacant building he owned and the alleged use of city trash bins for private debris disposal.