Dispatch public records requests connected with strange saga of Brice mayor who hired relatives for village posts

From The Columbus Dispatch

The village of Brice has a new mayor after the former mayor agreed to resign to settle multiple violations of state ethics laws related to hiring her relatives.

Amy M. Evans resigned March 7, in accordance with a settlement agreement she reached with Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien in lieu of prosecution. Cathy Compton, who was president of the village council, is now the mayor, and plans to run in the November election to retain the position, Julia Evans, the village fiscal officer, said Monday.

Julia Evans is the mother of Amy Evans, who had been the village mayor since July 11, 2013.

According to the settlement agreement, an Ohio Ethics Commission investigation found that a month after taking office as mayor, Amy Evans suggested that the village council appoint her mother the fiscal officer. Then, in 2014, Amy Evans participated in the hiring of her cousin, Sara Shaw. Shaw was hired to make copies of village records in response to public records requests by The Columbus Dispatch and WSYX-TV (Channel 6 news). Amy Evans signed the $500 payment made to her cousin for the work, the investigation found.

The investigation also found that while still on village council on July 11, 2013 before she became mayor on the same day to replace an interim mayor who resigned, Amy Evans “may have voted” to appoint her sister, Lori Runyon, who was the mayor’s court clerk at the time, to a vacant village council seat. The investigation found that Evans signed her sister’s checks for the court clerk job.

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