SANDUSKY, Ohio — Pressure continues to increase on Sandusky County Prosecutor Timothy Braun to resign. On Friday, four women from his office filed a civil suit, asking a judge to immediately remove Braun from his position.
In early December, the prosecutor pleaded guilty to negligent assault following a state investigation into sexual misconduct allegations.
As part of his plea deal, Braun was ordered to resign by June 30 but was allowed to continue collecting on his $140,000 annual salary.
But on Dec. 31, Sandusky County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeremiah Ray suspended Prosecutor Timothy Braun, pending the results of a Jan. 22 hearing into Braun's political future.
The move came a day after Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, acting as counsel for Gov. Mike DeWine, filed a complaint seeking Braun's removal from office.
The Jan. 22 hearing can be held before a judge or a jury and will decide if Braun is immediately removed from office.
Friday's complaint said that Braun has proved himself untrustworthy and should not be overseeing prosecutions or have oversight over staff in his office who he has admitted to mistreating. It's unclear when a judge will hear that complaint.
In the filing, a letter was included from the director of the Sandusky County Department of Job & Family Services. In the letter, Melanie Allen told employees that they were not to be alone with Braun for any reason. The director cited concern for her employees' safety.
The four women are among a total of five women in the prosecutor's office who have accused Braun of inappropriately touching them and creating a hostile, intimidating work environment.
The attorney general's complaint reads, “Braun’s pattern of misconduct towards his female subordinates, his criminal investigation into the missing personnel files, his seizure of his female subordinates’ private cell phone records, and his conviction of Negligent Assault on his female subordinate together demonstrate that he committed gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, misfeasance, malfeasance, and/or nonfeasance and is therefore guilty of misconduct in office and should be removed from office in accordance with Ohio Revised Code Sections 3.07 and 3.08.”
The filing outlines in part that Braun’s conviction has rendered him unable to perform the basic and fundamental duties of a prosecutor, that he cannot and should not be trusted with the power and authority of the office, and that he has caused irreparable damage to the office and its ability to advocate for women meaningfully.
The Sandusky County Republican Party voted unanimously in December to ask Braun to resign from office immediately.
Braun also faces likely discipline from the Ohio Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel.
In October, the attorney general's office also asked for Braun's resignation.
11 Investigates reported on the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation into Braun. At least five women told disturbing stories to agents looking into the prosecutor's conduct.
According to the investigation, Braun would ask women in his office for details of their sex lives and would give unwanted back and shoulder rubs, even allegedly rubbing one employee's breasts.
Braun was also co-counsel in the 2000 aggravated murder case against Wayne Braddy and Karl Willis, which has garnered scrutiny after 11 Investigates aired the "Guilty Without Proof" story.