Soldier who lost Spencer Twp trustee spot while deployed talks situation

Soldier who lost Spencer Twp trustee spot while deployed talks situation

SPENCER TOWNSHIP, OH (WTOL) - For the first time since being deployed in September, a Spencer Township Board of Trustee was home on leave and voted on township business. This comes after his trustee seat was given to someone else, a move the Lucas County Prosecutor calls illegal.

Shawn Valentine has been deployed with the army in Cuba for the past several months. On Wednesday, he was home on leave and held a special meeting at Spencer Township Hall.

According to John Borell, with the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office, Valentine's seat was declared vacant and given to D. Hilarion Smith.

Valentine says it's been confusing, but now that the Ohio Supreme Court is considering the case, he hopes the confusion is over.

"I feel a lot more confident for a positive outcome," said Valentine. "And I hope, I really do hope, they resolve this issue soon."

Wednesday was the first time Valentine met publicly with the board and community since the situation unfolded.

"A lot of information has been with held from me, so as soon as I got home I got myself caught up to speed," said Valentine. "I've been keeping abreast of the issues while away, and try to field them from there, but definitely needed a meeting to get things settled here."

Several community members say they wish there was someone else to fill Valentine's spot while he's gone, to act as a tie-breaker. It's something Valentine says he was looking into initially. Borell says an alternate is not possible.

"The essential services of the township are not going to stop just because two people have a disagreement," said Valentine.

Valentine says thanks to those who stand behind him, "I really do appreciate their support."

Another controversial decision was made Wednesday to cut Spencer Township's fire and EMS services and pass them over to Springfield Township.

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