Complaint: Mahoning Co. judge didn’t properly recuse himself from cases

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Mahoning County’s probate judge said he is going to work to fix a problem after having a complaint filed against him by the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Judge Robert Rusu said he learned that the Court’s Disciplinary Counsel filed the claim against him late last week.

It says Rusu failed to completely recuse himself from a number of probate cases that he handled while working in private practice after becoming a judge.

In a written statement, Rusu said he believed that he could oversee the cases since they didn’t involve any disputes or disagreements.

“Because the probate matters which came before me on which I had previously been a lawyer did not involve a controversy, I did not believe I had to disqualify myself. I interpreted ‘controversy’ in the common sense of the word — a matter in which there was a dispute, disagreement or argument,” the statement read.

Now, he admits that he should have fully disqualified himself from those matters, which he is now doing.

Officials with the Supreme Court said the complaint will not keep him from staying in office.