Prosecutor to stay on criminal case of Lakota school board member accused of violating protection order

Darbi Boddy, a Lakota Local Schools board member accused of violating a restraining order involving a fellow school board member, officially pleaded not guilty in area court Monday during arraignment, and the judge ruled the county prosecutor could stay on the case.

Boddy was issued a summons for the first-degree misdemeanor on Nov. 17 while attending a meeting at the Lakota Schools Central office on Princeton Road.

According to the citation issued by the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, Boddy attended the meeting where the “protected party Isaac Adi was present, which is a violation of protection order.”

Boddy left after receiving the citation, according to BCSO officials.

She was in Butler County Area II court on Nov. 29. But the arraignment came to a halt when her former attorney, Robert Croskery, raised a question of conflict of interest for Judge Kevin McDonough to hear the case.

McDonough recused, and visiting Judge Jerry McBride was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court to hear the case. McBride is a retired Clermont County Common Pleas judge.

Boddy was back in court in December when new attorney Curt Hartman objected to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office litigating the case, alleging a conflict since the office also represents legal matters of the school board.

Assistant prosecutors from the county prosecutor’s office are assigned to all three area courts.

Prosecutors disagreed and, on Monday, the judge sided with the prosecution finding no conflict, according to Hartman and Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Assistant Prosecutor Jessica Rodkey will litigate the misdemeanor case against Boddy.

“(The judge) agreed the prosecuting attorney’s office is not in a representative capacity to either of these people individually ... he said there was no conflict,” Gmoser said.

Hartman said he expects to set a trial in April, and Boddy is scheduled to be back in area court on March 18 for a pre-trial hearing.

The first-degree misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Hartman is also now representing Boddy’s case in common pleas court over alleged contempt in violation of a civil protective order. He said he does not expect movement on that case until after the criminal case, but is expecting to file some motions soon.

The back and forth in court over what Adi alleges is verbal harassment continues in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Adi’s attorney, Robert Lyons, filed a motion in common pleas court pleas court in November asking Judge Greg Howard to “impose a term of incarceration, financial sanctions and award of reasonable attorney fees” because Boddy allegedly violated the terms of the civil protection order at a conference both were attending in Columbus.

Under the standard order, Boddy cannot come within 500 feet — the equivalent of 15 school buses lined up end-to-end — of Adi or into any building or place she “knows or should know the protected persons are likely to be, even with a protected person’s permission.” She is not allowed to tamper with any of his possessions, contact him in any way or encourage anyone else to harass him.

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