Hold the Sheriff in Contempt?

Yep, that's exactly what an Ohio judge is looking to do, according to the charmingly named Youngstown Vindicator:

"Mahoning County Sheriff Randall Wellington's civil contempt hearing in Youngstown Municipal Court will proceed as scheduled Dec. 28, with municipal Judge Elizabeth A. Kobly on the bench.

The matter dates back to Nov. 29, when Judge Kobly sentenced Ronald A. Tomlin, 19, of Hudson Avenue to seven days in the county jail after he was convicted of domestic violence. Judge Kobly's one-page, two-sided journal entry included a handwritten note on the back that read: "Sheriff not to release early."

Wellington says jail personnel received only the front side of Judge Kobly's journal entry. Without that notation, and with a federal mandate limiting jail population to 296, Tomlin was released Nov. 29 and would have been required to complete his sentence later.

Deputy sheriffs arrested Tomlin on Nov. 30, the same day Judge Kobly ordered Wellington to appear at a show-cause hearing and explain why he should not be found in contempt.

For Wellington to prove that his personnel did not receive Judge Kobly's "Do Not Release" order, a chain of custody must be established, and that makes Judge Kobly a witness, Gains (the prosecutor who is representing the sheriff) wrote in his affidavit, which was filed Dec. 5. The judge cannot preside and be a witness without the appearance of bias or prejudice, Gains said.

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