VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) - The city manager of Vandalia called the action of Judge Cynthia Heck "improper", but said he believes the city can move forward.
The order dated April 18 indicated there was a problem. It states that due to an ongoing investigation involving Prosecutor Claudia Turrell and "credibility", Turrell is barred from the court of Judge Cynthia Heck.
The order is signed by the judge herself as is the one dated May 2 that rescinds the other.
Vandalia City Manager Rob Anderson told 2 NEWS, "We concluded that we agree the judge's order probably was improper. We submitted a letter to her yesterday asking that she rescind the order and we received that court order shortly thereafter."
Monday night, April 29, Anderson met with council members about the Turrell situation. He sought legal counsel as well and determined Turrell should return to work.
2 NEWS asked him what kind of working relationship he expected moving forward, "I think both women are very professional, they're obviously very smart, very talented, very polished. I'm assuming that they can go back and have the professional relationship they've always had over there."
Turrell's attorney asked his client not to speak with us because this matter might not be over. Jeffrey Silverstein cited the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct, Section 2.11. It reads, "A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to the following circumstances: The judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party or a party's lawyer...."
2 NEWS went to the justice building to speak with Judge Heck, but we were told she had left the building.
Heck is up for re-election this year. She has called "baseless" rumors about her getting pulled over for suspected drunk driving.
Anderson told 2 NEWS Turrell will return to work early next week. She has been on leave with pay, so her salary has not been impacted, but she has had to pay for her own attorney.
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