WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Trumbull County Prosecutor’s office won an appeal in the dismissal of some charges against former Liberty Schools superintendent Joseph Nohra.
In a decision dated Sept. 6, the 11th District Court of Appeals sent the case back to the trial court saying the basis of the dismissal of wiretapping charges against Nohra was unfounded.
The charges were initially dismissed after Trumbull County Judge Ronald Rice found that there is “little guidance as to what constitutes an oral communication” and questioned whether the person who was recorded could have their expectation of privacy waived under certain circumstances, saying Ohio law was vague in that regard.
This latest decision by the appellate court sends the case back down to the trial court to be adjudicated. A new date for further court proceedings has not been set, according to online court records.
“A review of the record reveals that no evidentiary hearings were conducted, no testimony was offered, no stipulations were submitted, and no exhibits were admitted. Thus, any determination by the trial court, let
alone a reviewing court, of an attempt to challenge the constitutionality of R.C. 2933.51(B) (Ohio’s wiretapping law) is premature, and we must reverse and remand for further examination of the facts upon which the indictment was based,” the decision said.
Nohra faced charges after he put a recording device in a school employee’s office who was suspected of theft in office. He got approval from the school board and the school board’s attorney to do it, according to court documents.
Nohra was later charged in an 11-count indictment charging him with the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications and interfering with civil rights.
Proceedings on the interfering with civil rights charges were stayed while the appeal on the wiretapping charges was decided.