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Lorain Municipal Court clerk steps down amid police investigation

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LORAIN — The clerk of courts for Lorain Municipal Court resigned from her position Thursday amid an investigation by Lorain police into alleged improprieties while in office.

Lori Maiorana tendered her letter of resignation to the city’s auditor, Karen Shawver, Thursday. Shawver provided a copy of the letter to The Chronicle-Telegram after receiving a public records request from the paper for it.

In the letter dated Dec. 3, which Shawver received by mail Thursday, Maiorana said she is retiring effective Jan. 1.

“Unfortunately, due to health reasons I am unable to complete my current term which expires Dec. 31, 2019,” Maiorana said in the letter. “I thank the residents of Lorain and Sheffield Lake for the opportunity to serve during the last 33 years.”

Lorain police Capt. Michael Failing confirmed that the department is investigating Maiorana for “some practices that were going on there.” Failing said he was unaware that Maiorana had resigned from her position and said he wasn’t sure whether the investigation would continue.

When asked about the investigation, Maiorana said, “No comment.”

“I retired because I am eligible to retire,” Maiorana said. “I have worked for 33 years there. I didn’t resign.”

Maiorana had announced that she would not run for re-election and would retire when her current term expired.

Once the position is vacant, the Democratic Party Central Committee will select a replacement for Maiorana, according to Lorain County Board of Elections Direct Paul Adams.

“The Democratic Party Central Committee members will get to name the replacement in the meeting that needs to be called no sooner than five and no more than 15 days after the vacancy occurs,” Adams said. “It would be Democratic Central Committee members in the (Lorain Municipal) Court district. That would mean all of them in Lorain, Sheffield Township and Sheffield Lake.”

Candidates interested in filling Maiorana’s unexpired term would also attend the meeting.

“Those individuals that are interested in running would come before the Central Committee at that time,” Adams said. “They would be given a brief amount of time to speak, and then the Central Committee Members would immediately go into voting and would make a selection at that time.”

The person selected would assume office the following day, Adams said.

Two candidates had announced their candidacy for the Lorain Municipal Clerk of Courts seat prior to Maiorana’s resignation.

On Wednesday, Lorain County Commissioner Ted Kalo announced his intentions to run for the office. On Friday, Kalo said he plans to submit his name to the Central Committee next month.

“It kind of caught me off guard that (Maiorana) was going to be leaving this year,” Kalo said. “I planned on running for the May primary, but since she’s decided to retire early, I will pursue the precinct appointment of the Central Committee.”

If Kalo were to be selected, the countywide Democratic Central Committee would need to meet again to select someone to fill his unexpired term as commissioner.

Jeff Bearer, who works for Maiorana in the clerk of courts office, also has announced his candidacy for the seat. He too plans to submit his name to the Central Committee.

“She’s going out for health reasons; that incumbency vote will be coming up here, and I’ll be submitting my name,” Bearer said. “I feel I’ll be the best candidate. I don’t feel a politician, or anybody, that hasn’t had any experience in this office would be a good fit.”

A third person also has shown interest in running for the seat. On Friday, Mallory Santiago pulled petitions in the race from the Lorain County Board of Elections, according to Adams.

Adams said the law stating the meeting needs to be called no sooner than five and no later than 15 days after the vacancy occurs is special for clerk of courts. For most vacant elected offices, the Central Committee has to call the meeting no sooner than five days and not later than 45 days from when the vacancy occurs, Adams said.

Contact Scott Mahoney at 329-7146 or smahoney@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @SMahoneyCT.



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