ELYRIA – Judge John Miraldi has filed a motion to transfer several cases on his docket to the Administrative Judge of the General Division of Lorain County Common Pleas Court due to a possible conflict of interest.
All of the 13 cases in the April 10 motion are being defended by attorney Jenifer Berki or her husband, attorney Douglas Merrill, according to court documents.
Judge Raymond Ewers, who serves as the administrative judge of the General Division, said Miraldi asked to have the cases transferred because “he wanted to avoid any possible conflict.”
Miraldi is running for reelection this year. While he will not face an opponent in the Democratic primary next month, he will face Berki, who has filed as a candidate for the seat as a Republican, in the November General Election.
Ewers said the motion is based solely only on the possibility of a conflict because of the election.
Berki is also the defense attorney for Kajaun Anderson, who is accused of shooting and killing 19-year-old Cody Snyder in January. Miraldi’s son, Jeffrey Miraldi, was driving the car in which Snyder was shot in what police have called a “drug deal gone bad.”
The car driven by the younger Miraldi was registered to the elder Miraldi, who is not under investigation in the matter.
Jeffrey Miraldi faces involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking charges in connection with the incident.
Prosecution of all the cases connected to the incident is being handled by a special prosecutor. A visiting judge has been brought in to handle all of the trials, as well, to avoid any possible conflict of interest.
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