Dennis pleads not guilty to election offenses

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

Joshua M. Dennis, candidate for Livingston County Coroner, plead not guilty and waived a formal arraignment before Judge James Bradley Funk in Livingston County Court on Sept. 14.

Dennis, who appeared in court with his lawyer, Michale Koenig, is facing a charge of a misdemeanor campaign violation. Dennis, 37, Chillicothe, the republican candidate for coroner was charged after the Chillicothe Police Department (CPD) filed a probable cause statement following Dennis allegedly making a statement that violates election law, on various occasions.

The filed probable cause statement alleges Dennis stated he would donate his first year’s salary back to the county. The charging document claims such statement is a “violation to discharge the duties of such office for a less sum than the salary, fees, or emoluments as fixed by law or promising to payback or donate to any public or private interest any portion of such salary, fees, or emoluments as an inducement to voters.”

The statement filed by CPD claims Dennis made statements that were published in the Aug. 1 newspaper article in the Constitution-Tribune, that he would donate his entire first-year salary back to the county and do the job for free to help the county cover any cost that may occur from moving the office. Dennis allegedly made similar statements in a video.

Livingston County Prosecuting Attorney Adam Warren charged Dennis with the unclassified misdemeanor of Class Four Election Offenses.

In late August Judge Michael Richard Leamer excused himself from a case and the case was assigned to Judge Funk.

Dennis’s next appearance before the court will be at 1:30 p.m., on Oct. 22, for a plea/trial setting schedule.