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Ashtabula City Councilman Holman resigns

AshtabulaCurrent

Shelley Terry / sterry@starbeacon.com

ASHTABULA — Embattled Ashtabula City Council member Reginald Holman resigned his position, effective noon Monday.

Holman sent his letter to city officials.

“Due to the present attitudes, personalities and circumstances which have arisen in the past several months, I have found it very difficult to represent the interests of the citizens of the city of Ashtabula, and those of the Third Ward,” he said. “The legal issues I face presently have unfairly caused physical and emotional stress to both my family and myself. These issues will absorb my time and attention for the foreseeable future.”

City Council had planned to vote on a resolution at tonight’s meeting finding Holman vacated and forfeited the office of Ward 3 representative by reason of non-residency and failing to qualify as a voter.

City Solicitor Michael Franklin presented the resolution on Friday after county election officials concluded Holman provided an incorrect address to election board staff when registering to vote. Holman said he lived in a basement apartment at his mother’s beauty shop on West 43rd Street in Ashtabula, but Franklin alleged he only recently moved there. Franklin said Holman actually lived with his parents at 3559 Austinburg Road in Plymouth Township when he presented the West 43rd address to election officials.

The election board ruled against Holman, meaning he was taken off the voter rolls, according to election officials.

The Ashtabula County grand jury has indicted Holman on fifth-degree felony charges of election falsification and falsification of petitions.

Holman was also facing scrutiny for failing a drug test in November that showed positive results for marijuana and cocaine. Holman originally denied failing the drug test, but he later said he planned to seek treatment.

In December, police began investigating Holman and former housing inspector John Artuso in connection to the possible theft of $160,000 and property from a vacant home across the street from the West 43rd address. No charges have been filed in the case, and police have repeatedly said the investigation in ongoing.

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