Ohio addresses reimbursement problem that plagued Erie County

A new state law, recently approved by Gov. John Kasich, requires government officials to immediately reimburse patrons overpaying for court-based services.
Andy Ouriel
Dec 29, 2012

The bill is especially significant in Erie County, where in fall 2011 a Register investigation concluded former clerk of courts Barb Johnson kept $3 million in an account that was, in fact, owed to thousands of past litigants, attorneys and others paying for the services she supervised.

The truth about the $3 million finally surfaced when employees appointed to run the office in her absence throughout 2011 cooperated with the Register in providing new information detailing this long-running system of negligence.

Pick up a copy of Saturday's Register to learn how the new clerk of courts is rectifying the problem.

 

Comments

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights), Personal information, and Libel and defamation.

luvblues2

Immediately in gov't terms = 5 to 6 yrs, if they don't find another way to spend it first and tell you the funds were never there to begin with. OH! Unless of course, you owe them. Then Imemediately = yesterday or the interest is compounded daily.

West

And of course good ole Citizens Banking Co. is involved in this scam too!

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information and Libel and defamation.

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights) and Libel and defamation.

tk

Julie R., Tuesday is a holiday. The bank won't be open.

Julie R.

Sorry, I meant Monday.

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Libel and defamation.

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Centauri

Julie R.,
The Sandusky Register or any other news media doesn't care about public records that will expose the truth. The powers that be control the news media. If you recall, attorney Buff and many others constantly used the newspaper comments to spread lies, libel and slander.

One gripe that I have about the SR's new and improved online site is that I cannot send or receive private messages.

Public records will expose the truth in the Sandusky, Ohio area. The SR sadly cherry picks the ones that destroy the honest people in government. The powers that be just love that.

richrs

I wish someone would give Julie R a big piece of cheese to go with her whine.

Julie R.

It says in the paper that thirty thousand of the three million has been distributed so far but it fails to mention WHO it was distributed to. Considering how that should be a matter of public record, is the SR going to print that information?

Julie R.

It says in the paper that Barb Johnson slowly amassed three million by making frequent deposits into an interest-bearing account that her workers and other county officials knew nothing about.

If that's true, then there must not have been any deposits in the last ten years or so before Johnson's death because stories I've heard she wasn't even in the office very much during that time period. Stories I've heard she took a family leave to take care of her elderly mother and after her mother died she then started to battle a serious illness of her own and was even in a nursing home for awhile. I know for a fact she wasn't in the office in 2007 and 2008 and I don't believe I ever saw her there in 2006, either. I also know for a fact she only returned for a short time in 2009 before going back on medical right up until her death in 2011 so if there were deposits made into an interest-bearing account during those time periods it sure wasn't Johnson that made them.

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Centauri

Julie R.,
I read your comments that were deleted. I feel that the powers that be notified the SR to have your comments removed. I have had comments removed in the past that quoted the SR news stories or were based on public records.

You mentioned Citizens Bank and the foreclosure against a local factory owner. I will post links to a couple of public court documents. Read them carefully. There is a reason why many companies fled Erie County, Ohio or refuse to set up business in the county.

"Your submission has triggered the spam filter and will not be accepted."

LOL! I have to agree that many Erie County Ohio public documents are a joke and in fact SPAM. The SR considers court pdf files spam. No big deal since the SR refuses to use all public records in their news stories.

I feel that the clients will not get their money. The money will probably be sent to the client's attorneys who will pocket the money for themselves. Unless the SR posts which clients get the money, the clients will not know that money is owed to them.

Julie R.

Since when do attorneys use their own money when they file things? What a joke. We all know they use a client's money so why do they keep saying this 3 million (with interest of course) belongs to attorneys? The paper says that $30 thousand of the 3 million has already been distributed yet it doesn't tell who it was distributed to. Why not? Shouldn't that be a matter of public record? I noticed a Murray made a comment in the article. Does that mean the Murray law firm has received a share of it so far?

Julie R.

Three million dollars at Citizens Bank in Sandusky ..... and they're claiming it belongs to attorneys?

Wasn't it also Citizens Bank that was involved in that case against the black lady Krista Harris ... the case where the hypocrites at the corrupt Erie County courthouse claimed Harris stole from her elderly aunt even after the aunt's doctor (Susan Gallagher) testified that the power of attorney Harris used was legal --- was prepared years back when the aunt was competent? When was that, anyway? Wasn't that around 2002?

What about the thief in the Treasurer's office that stole all that taxpayer money -- who only got two years and didn't even have to serve that. Didn't the Lorain Journal print that prior to getting the job at the Treasurer's office she worked for Citizens Bank in Sandusky? So when did she get that job in the Treasurer's office --- wasn't that around 2002?

Might be just a coincidence .... but then again maybe not. Who's the attorney for Citizens Bank, anyway?

Centauri

@ Julie R.,
Keep posting your comments as I do follow them. You ask some very valid questions and make some excellent points. Don't let the powers that be and simpletons who have no clues get to you. I will try to provide information that the SR refuses to post or print.

http://www.eriecounty.oh.gov/dep...

http://www.eriecounty.oh.gov/dep...

Julie R.

Why was my last comment deleted for personal attacks? Considering the story is about three million dollars with interest being refunded to attorneys, all I did was ask a simple question that any average citizen might ask:

If one files legitimate complaints and a court refuses to address the complaints, shouldn't the court have to refund the money that they demanded upfront when the complaints were filed, plus all the money they took upfront every time documents were filed that refuted ~ not to mention proved ~ what liars the attorneys and others on the other side were?

Julie R.

Hard to believe that the county public officials weren't aware of a three million dollar account at Citizens Bank. I also can't wait to see the names, case numbers and especially the DATES that all these deposits were made. I certainly hope it's a matter of public record. Just can't give three million dollars to a bunch of attorneys without showing proof that's who it goes to.

Julie R.

If Barb Johnson was as incompetent as everybody makes her out to be, she sure didn't give me that impression. After returning from a medical leave in 2009 she certainly was quick to question why the money from a (scam) sheriff sale that took place in early 2007 was still in her account. She sure was quick to transfer it back to the sheriff's department, too, when she discovered there was never a court order to transfer it to the clerk of court's to begin with.

One might have to wonder how many other "deposits" were made in that office when Johnson wasn't there to oversee what was going on.

Julie R.

Had Barb Johnson not returned from a medical leave in late 2009 and discovered that money from a court-ordered scam sheriff sale that took place in early 2007 had been deposited into her account without a court order and the reason it was still sitting there was because the probate court was intentionally not addressing the complaints that were filed prior to the scam sheriff sale, you can bet that money would STILL be sitting in the clerk of court's account.

So how do they know that this three million dollar account at Citizens Bank that they're claiming belongs to attorneys isn't something similar? After all, didn't they say that Judge Maschari had a ton of cases that were never addressed? Isn't that why they claimed they needed another judge (Binette) to handle the ton of cases left behind by Maschari? Considering how the Erie County courts are well-known for dragging cases on and on and on for years and years, the parties to those cases could even be dead by now.

That's why I hope the SR prints the case numbers on those deposits along with the names of the parties. They claim that it was Barb Johnson that made all the deposits so I hope they print the DATES, too.