JEFFERSON — More than a month after Charlie Frye's trial, visiting Judge Patricia Cosgrove issued a written verdict finding the director of the Ashtabula County Board of Elections not guilty of theft.

In March 2020, Frye — also the chairman of the Ashtabula County Republican Party — was charged with eight counts of theft, first-degree misdemeanors. He was accused of stealing political signs belonging to Malcolm Stewart Douglas, a former candidate for county Prosecutor.

Cosgrove, who issued a written verdict on Jan. 26, said the prosecution failed to prove that Frye intended to permanently deprive Douglas of the political signs, one of the required elements of the statute.

Return to and read Thursday's print edition for more on this developing story.

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