Thursday, November 09, 2000

Losing candidate is jailed

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Defeated Fort Mitchell City Council candidate John Ellenbogen — arrested Tuesday on a charge of interfering with an election — spent the night in jail after refusing to leave the Kenton County Detention Center.

        The 62-year-old was held overnight after he would not sign a paper stating he agreed to appear in court at a later date, said Chief Deputy Jailer Rodney Ballard. Mr. Ellenbogen was released Tuesday morning after being arraigned before Kenton County District Judge Douglas Grothaus.

        The political newcomer, who often attends City Council and Kenton Fiscal Court meetings, was arrested at about 2 p.m. Tuesday. Officials said he ignored written and verbal warnings to stop videotaping voters as they entered the Fort Mitchell city building. Sheriff's deputies seized his video equipment.

        Mr. Ellenbogen said he was taping a documentary.

        Interfering with an election, a Class A misdemeanor, is punishable by a $500 fine or a year in jail. The Kenton County Attorney's Office may pursue more felony charges against Mr. Ellenbogen.

        Mr. Ellenbogen was among 15 candidates seeking one of eight two-year terms on the Fort Mitchell City Council in Tuesday's election. He finished second to last.

        Mr. Ellenbogen responded to a reporter's questions with a two-page typed press release Wednesday afternoon. The release attacked the sheriff's office for arresting him, implying it was related to complaints Mr. Ellenbogen made about election signs that might have been placed too close to the city building.


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