The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Genoa Village Council voted unanimously Monday to hire a new solicitor.

Northwood attorney Brian Ballenger was given a two-year contract at $130 an hour, with hours determined on an as-needed basis, said fiscal officer Charles Brinkman.

Ballenger, who has been an attorney for 25 years, operates a private practice and does work currently with the Village of Walbridge and City of Northwood.

He replaces Cindy Smith who resigned in March after more than two decades of service with the Genoa administration.

Council put him to work immediately, asking him to review several pending ordinances as well as  the hiring procedure of a part-time clerk.

The clerk issue surfaced earlier this year when councilman Eric Hise questioned the legality of the hiring which had not been approved by council.

The Ottawa County sheriff and prosecutor both reviewed the possible misuse of funds complaint.  They had been consulted because the village did not have a solicitor on the payroll.

Neither believed a crime had been committed regarding the hiring, officials said.

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