Complaint filed to remove Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings from office

Washington County Prosecutor Kevin Rings now faces another lawsuit after a complaint to remove him from office was filed Tuesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

The complaint was filed by Attorney Ethan Vessels of Fields, Dehmlow and Vessels, a Marietta law firm, Tuesday according to the Washington County Clerk of Courts.

Though no paperwork accompanied the electronic filing as of Tuesday the complaint does list Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks, and 12 area lawyers as plaintiffs against Rings.

Those listed include:

– Susan Vessels.

– Colleen Cook.

– Jerry Brock.

– Dale Leeper.

– Abe Sellers.

– Khadine Ritter.

– Matthew Carlisle.

– Craig Wakefield, former Washington County Bar Association president.

– Daniel Corcoran.

– Kristopher Justice.

– Adam Schwendeman.

– Rolf Baumgartel, defense attorney.

According to the Ohio Revised Code Section 309.05, the complaint may be signed by one or more taxpayers containing distinct charges and specifications of wanton and willful neglect of duty or gross misconduct in office by the prosecuting attorney.

If the appointed judge in the civil suit finds the neglect or misconduct to have occurred, the court is able to remove Rings from office.

Rumors of a potential resignation have circulated through local law enforcement since Rings’ conviction of coercion on Friday after a weeklong trial for sexual imposition and coercion, both misdemeanors.

The eight-person jury found Rings guilty Friday of coercion, a second-degree misdemeanor, but acquitted the sexual imposition charge.

Rings potentially could also face discipline from the Ohio Supreme Court and state bar association, including the options for reprimand, a suspension of his ability to practice law, or ultimately a disbarment.

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