Editor’s note: This report updates a previous version to include a comment from Niki Frenchko and her clarification of the time frame during the meeting mentioned in the story.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The attorney for a former Trumbull County official has asked for $10,000 in attorneys fees to be awarded to her as sanctions because a commissioner used a degrading term for women during a deposition.
Caryn Groedel, attorney for former county 911 director Ernie Cook, filed a motion Thursday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio for the sanctions against Trumbull County Commissioner Niki Frenchko.
Groedel is taking issue with a remark she says Frenchko made during an “off the record” portion of a deposition meeting that was held via Zoom Monday.
According to Grodel’s filing, Frenchko made the comment Monday when Grodel told her during the deposition that she had to finish and would resume again “at a time convenient for all involved.” Frenchko then began arguing, the filing said, saying she would not appear again and that she could finish in a few minutes.
When Groedel told Frenchko she was “off the record,” Frenchko responded with the derogatory remark, according to Groedel’s complaint.
Frnechko said the deposition had ended prior to her comment and issued the following statement:
“I said out loud and off the record what most people think when they’re met with a Karen who disrespects them, their time and makes implausible accusations against them. After 10 hours of depositions, Karen refused to finish, with only one question left, and accused me of drinking alcohol on the record. Her unprofessionalism should be sanctioned by the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Action Council; I’m looking into that,”
Caryn Groedel is Cook’s attorney in a civil suit he filed last year after he was fired, alleging age discrimination.
Patty Coller contributed to this report.