COLUMBUS: A five-judge panel appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court has ordered Summit County Probate Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer to pay a $1,000 fine and $6,000 in legal fees for violating campaign finance laws during last year’s election run.
The panel declined to discipline Stormer, according to the high court announcement in Columbus Thursday.
Stormer’s opponent in the probate race, Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty, a Republican, filed the complaint last year, according to the panel. It claimed Stormer and county Democrats held two fundraising events in which contributions were categorized by amounts.
The Ohio Supreme Court banned the so-called “tiered contribution” events in 1995.
The panel found that a violation occurred in one of the two campaign events and, thus, ordered Stormer to pay half of the attorney fees incurred by McCarty during the complaint proceedings.
In the November election, Stormer won 53.09 percent of the nearly 189,000 votes cast for probate judge. McCarty won 46.91 percent of the vote.
The panel also announced that the high court, on Jan. 1, amended the judicial cannon in dispute, effectively eliminating the rule violation that previously occurred.